Playing Together Against Homophobia

21.2.2018 11:00 AM
Playing Together Against Homophobia
As part of Football vs Homophobia month of action in February, Ramat Gan Stadium was the venue for a symbolic match between the national Artist team and the Rainbow team, comprising both gay and straight players, reinforce by Hapoel Katamon jerusalem youth players.
The match provided the opportunity for Roy Ohana, the first transgender player in Israeli football, to make his debut in men's football.
The Artist team won 3–0, thanks to a goal by former Hapoel Tel Aviv star Zito Ogbuna and two from former Bnei Jaffa Ortodoxim player Tomer Yeruham.
The Rainbow team was trained by Amaya Taga, the Artist team coached by Oved Kraus. Maccabi Tel Aviv captain and Israel FA social responsibility ambassador Sheran Yeini was there to cheer the teams on, along with female international Moran Lavi, and the mayor of Ramat Gan city, Israel Singer.
"The pitch and the stands must welcome everyone in a spirit of equality," said Rotem Kamer, CEO of the Israel Football Association. "The IFA is proud to take part in various social responsibility projects aimed to promote a society that respects, accepts and empowers everyone".
The founder of the Rainbow team, Ron Cohen, added: "We came here today to kick homophobia off the pitch. Football belongs to everyone, and everyone is equal. Even though we have made great strides, there are many more challenges ahead”.
The special game had the support of the national social responsibility team, which was recently set up as a joint initiative by the IFA and the local “kick it out” organization. The social responsibility team aims to encourage Israeli football players to work for the good of society and the community, to speak out against racism and violence, and set an example for equality, tolerance and peaceful coexistence.