Israel President Rivlin hosted the ASA Tel Aviv women’s football team,

Attached photo credit: Haim Zach (GPO)

President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin today, Wednesday 11 September / 11 Elul, hosted the ASA Tel Aviv women’s football team who this year won the Israeli Women’s cup for the second time and the Women’s Premier league. Nir Kofman, chairman of the ASA sports association, also participated in the meeting.

"On the field everyone is equal, but only the very best get to raise the cup. What you achieved last season is so impressive,” said the president to the players, and told then how much he enjoyed watching the Women’s World Cup last month. "All the teams, but especially the Americans, played good, beautiful, interesting football. It was sport at the highest level. I have no doubt that this event, which drew record numbers of spectators, will encourage more women and girls to play soccer."

The president said, "As a football fan and as a grandfather of granddaughters, it gives me such pleasure. Nothing will stop you reaching the top. I appreciate your desire to win, your perseverance, your professionalism. Take the values the game teaches us and continue to bring them to every field of your lives. I'm sure we will continue to hear about ASA Tel Aviv and the entire league, and I look forward to seeing you playing international football.”

16-year old Talia Zumer, this year's new find in the women's league said: "I was born in the USA, in Manhattan. My uncle introduced me to the game and I have been in love since then. I joined the Maccabi Tel Aviv boys’ team. One of the boys asked if girls could play soccer? The coach said they could. Girls are stronger, faster, sharper, and better. I fought for my place and went got into the team. The experience taught me a lot. I learned to concentrate on my game and not let anything stop me, to be the best and to keep on improving."

The players proudly told the president that their team represents ‘Israeli hope’, with players who are Arab and Jewish, secular and religious and between the ages of 15-36. ASA Tel Aviv’s youth department is part of ‘Shield of Honor - Next Generation’, a project of Beit HaNasi in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Sport, the Football Association, the Football League, Toto and the Values in Sports organization. The Shield of Honor is part of Beit HaNasi’s flagship ‘Israeli Hope’ program to encourage partnership between the different parts of Israeli society. ‘Shield of Honor’ encourages and supports football clubs to establish significant organizational, educational and values infrastructure to help reduce gaps, establish partnerships between different parts of Israeli society, and reduce violence and racism at football matches.

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