Israel: Premier League referee to begin transitioning
Sagi Berman, a referee in Israel’s Premier League, will change her name to Sapir, with the local FA’s support. She intends to continue refereeing in the country’s top tier.
A top-level referee has started the process of gender transitioning, reports in Israel say.
Sagi Berman, 27, will change her name to Sapir and start being addressed with female pronouns.
The medical part of the process will take about three years, but according to Israeli outlet Sport 5, Berman has already been receiving a separate dressing room from the rest of the match-day officials.
She intends to continue in her refereeing career in the Israeli Premier League, in which she’s been officiating games since the beginning of last season.
At the start of the 2018/19 season, semiprofessional referee Lucy Clark, of England, became the highest-profile referee to come out as transgender.
Speaking about her experiences after her first season as a woman, she told the English FA’s website that she wished she had told the football world years ago. She officiated games in the lower divisions of England’s football pyramid, as well as in some of England’s amateur men’s leagues.
Berman will call a press conference to discuss her decision on Tuesday. The Israeli FA and referees association have shown full support for Berman, and are reportedly already consulting with both UEFA and FIFA regarding the technicalities of the process.