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Sagi Berman to come out as Israeli top-flight soccer’s first transgender referee

Ref will make announcement at Tuesday press conference during which she’ll introduce her new name, Sapir, and discuss ongoing transition

Israel soccer league referee Sapir Berman. (Israeli Football Association)
Israel soccer league referee Sapir Berman. (Israeli Football Association)

Israeli Premier League soccer referee Sagi Berman will come out publicly as transgender at a Tuesday press conference.

She is the league’s first-ever transgender referee.

Berman, 27, has been transitioning over the past several months, now goes by Sapir, and uses female gender pronouns.

Berman has been known as one of the league’s top referees, but has been relegated to fourth-string judge in recent games due to the hormonal treatments that she has been undergoing.

Last month, reports in the media revealed that one of the Premier League’s referees was transitioning into a woman, without revealing their identity.

The Israeli Football Association has expressed full support for Berman and has is reportedly already consulting with both the Union of European Football Associations and FIFA for how to properly accommodate transgender referees.

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