Developing football in Israel
Football spread from the suburbs of Tel Aviv and Jaffa at the beginning of the last century.
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The Israel Football Association (IFA) is striving to bring more men and women into football, and is aiming to bring the innovation and entrepreneurship that characterizes the State of Israel into the football industry.
The IFA is encouraging young players with a view to the national team and to the highest levels of competition, but also recognises that football is an important tool for social progress, bringing together different elements of society and fostering a sense of nationhood, regardless of race, sex or background.
A new academy for boys continues to bring in more potential senior internationals year on year, and women’s football is now a key area for development too; the IFA has established a women’s academy and three leagues for women and girls, and has national teams from the ages of 16 up to senior level, with the state-run Athena Program is providing further funding for women’s football. The IFA also continues to host UEFA final tournaments for men and women: the U21 men's EURO in 2013, the women's Under-19 finals in 2015 and the men's Under-17s in 2022.
"Although considered to be one of the oldest games, football has proved its ability to change, to innovate, to unite and to remain the most popular sport. In so many areas of life, in Israel and in any other country, football is a major and influential force. The IFA will continue to create connections through football in all the areas that make up the unique mosaic of Israeli society. Football gives us all the chance to come out as winners."
UEFA HatTrick funding supported the setting up of the Israeli Girls’ Football Academy and the IFA’s National Training Centre, which hosts activities for Israel’s national teams as well as coach and referee education courses, and serves as the base for the IFA’s youth academy. UEFA has also assisted with additional women’s, referee and youth elite development programmes and is supporting the establishment of a national academy and two regional elite development centres, one in the north of the country and one in the south.
UEFA Foundation for Children in Israel
Set up in 2015, the UEFA Foundation uses football as a vehicle to help improve children’s lives by supporting hundreds of campaigns and projects across Europe and around the world.
Twinned Peace Sport Schools (TPSS)
Ties between Arab and Jewish citizens in Israel are marred by ongoing conflict that has led to discrimination, fear, and distrust of “the other” on both sides. The Peres Center’s Twinned Peace Sport Schools (TPSS) programme is an extra-curricular football-based peace education programme combining regular football training with Hebrew/Arabic language learning, cross-cultural exchange and peace education activities that promote integration, diversity and inclusion among Jewish and Arab Israeli boys and girls aged 8-12.
National team history
Date of birth: 1972
Association president since: 2022
Date of birth: 29 March 1962
Association general secretary since: 2021