1st Edition

Israeli Football Culture, Politics, and Identity

Edited By Ilan Tamir, Yair Galily Copyright 2022
    128 Pages
    by Routledge

    128 Pages
    by Routledge

    Israeli Football: Culture, Politics, and Identity focuses on the diverse aspects of the evolution of Israeli football and the social effects of these on-going processes.

    In the span of nine decades, Israeli football has become a faithful representation of society and its key developments. The organizational structure of the teams and their ethnic composition, fans’ chants and behaviors in the stands, gender-related issues, media involvement, and other issues have reflected important societal trends and transformations. Examples of such trends include a shift from political to private ownership of football teams, a shift from Ashkenazi to Sephardi dominance, increasing diversification of the national team — from exclusive Jewish presence to a significant presence of Arab players, including a non-Jewish captain of the national team, a shift from local-based to global-based fandom. These changes, reflecting major milestones in the evolution of Israeli football, did not occur in a vacuum but rather were integrally related to broader local and global trends. These effects may even have had a reciprocal nature, where developments in the sport sphere also affected the public sphere and prepared the ground for social change.

    The chapters in this book were first published as a special issue of the journal Israel Affairs.

    Introduction: Older than the state: ninety years of Israeli football through the looking glass

    Ilan Tamir and Yair Galily

    1. The establishment of the Eretz Israel football association

    Haim Kaufman and Ilan Tamir

    2. The changing face of fandom: the case of Israeli football supporters

    Yair Galily and Tal Samuel-Azran

    3. ‘We want to be like Europe, but we are struggling to survive’: Professional Football Training for Israeli children since the 2000s

    Shlomit guy

    4. "It’s not exactly soccer and the Players aren’t exactly women": Contemporary attitudes to women’s football in Israel

    Ilan Tamir

    5. Getting lost in the zone of transition: analyzing the lifecycle of Israeli soccer stars in becoming coaches

    Assaf Lev and Shlomo Weinish

    6. Built heritage or lost nostalgia: Israeli fans and the conservation of sports venues

    Orr Levental

    7. Corruption among sport officials in early Israeli football

    Udi Carmi and Moshe Levy


    Ilan Tamir is Professor at the School of Communication, Ariel University, Israel, and a visiting scholar at Harvard University.

    Yair Galily is Behavioral Science Professor and Senior Lecturer in Communication and Psychology at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya; Senior Fellow at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism Policy (ICT); Founder and head of the research unit at the Israel Football Association; and a member of the Club Licensing Committee of the European Football Association (UEFA).