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Asharat Eini: "Judge me for who I am and not for what I say" | Israel today


About the germ and the love for soccer ("I started at the age of 15 and a half") • Returning to Hapoel Tel Aviv ("It was the dream") • And the dissonance of being a woman who plays soccer ("Getting into the car and seeing high heels next to soccer shoes") • My eyes confirmed in a conversation in honor of Rosh Hashanah

The soccer player and commentator Asharat Eini (38 about a week ago) came to the attention of the Israeli soccer world only in recent years, thanks to her being the first woman to commentate on the Israeli national team and a permanent member of the panel before matches.

In about a month she will fulfill one of the biggest dreams in the world of sports media and travel to the World Cup in Qatar.

Photography: Moshe Ben Simhon

But it turns out that she has been in the field since she was 15, and as it seems - she has no intention of going anywhere.

Last summer she came full circle when she signed with the women's team of Hapoel Tel Aviv, the club where she started her career.

How did you get into the field?

"Professionally at the age of 15 and a half, which is something that is unimaginable to me. But football was always there. Already at the age of 3 I started coming to the fields with my father, an intelligence officer in the police, who on Saturdays was a paid policeman at the league games. Since then I would always play in the neighborhood with friends, Mostly boys. I started with handball in general, which was the hot field in Herzliya, where I grew up.

"In the division I studied in a sports class and then I switched to soccer. I had a half-year episode with soccer at Maccabi Herzliya boys, they called me Osher."

My eyes approved.

"The parents just want me to be happy", photo: Udi Tsitiat

What was the reaction of the parents?

"The reason they called me Osher was because they didn't want to be attached to the fact that there was a girl playing with the boys. The parents supported me, wanted me to do what was best for me and to be happy, and were always there for me. I stopped playing soccer, because in the summer they had to undergo medical tests before the season, and then we realized that it was impossible to continue , so I continued to play handball. In the neighborhood I also played soccer and I had a 'gang' that looked after me."

When did the change come?

"In the 9th grade I was on the school handball team, I trained with the boys a year below me, and in addition I started a soccer class with the 8th grade boys in Ra'anana.

This is the age when I started to feel that you and I are equal but different.

Part of the problem today is that there is no leisure.

This is not really true, unfortunately our children's leisure time does not go in the direction of sports."

Let's talk about the comeback to Hapoel after 20 years.

What changed?

"From the moment Hapoel was disbanded in 2002, it was the dream. At the age of 5, when I arrived in Bloomfield, I realized that I wanted to be a soccer player. A very significant insight, certainly when it happened 33 years ago, when there was no women's league yet, there was no Hapoel Tel Aviv and There was the Israeli national team.

My eyes approved.

Quite a few difficulties along the way, photo: Audi Tsitiat

"But make no mistake, there are a lot of difficulties along the way - the fact that I couldn't play soccer as a girl, in an organized team with girls, the fact that I can't make a living from soccer, the fact that there are a lot of professional shortcomings - and yet everything is worth it."

What is your goal, and how will you get more girls involved in soccer?

"For me, it's first of all a matter of visibility. Only last year they started broadcasting the league after 21 years. In the summer, they broadcast the Euro on Sport1, and it was really a great pride. But we need role models. There are objective difficulties such as facilities, etc., but a girl needs to have Where to aspire to. For example, to see Noah Slimhodzic and Irina Kuznetsov on the screen regularly."

Do you think it's a social issue?

Women who play soccer are seen as abnormal.

"Let's look at it from a social point of view, footballers as a community. There are double stigmas here - both a footballer and a woman. I get into the car and see high heels next to football boots. We suffer because of this, and it is reflected in budgeting and exposure over the years."

eyes and ears

We talk about everything, photo: Audi Citiat

Do you feel a loss that you only have 12 appearances in the national team?

"Yes, I didn't do my best during my time there, and I feel that this is my biggest mistake and my biggest pride. I realized it only after I got injured, so I came to the realization that I didn't do enough. I hired a personal trainer, a nutritionist, I improved myself, and since then I've been on a path of To be the best I can be."

You managed to break a glass ceiling in the world of sports media as well.

"It all started on Twitter. I started tweeting about football, and Miri Nebo saw it and they took me to interpret the European Championship for girls that was held in Israel, alongside Ran Malovni. I had no experience and didn't exactly know what to do, so they connected me with the charming Sharon Davidovich who guided me .

"At the World Cup we are going to broadcast together, and this will be an exciting closing of the circle for me. At that time I was also an assistant coach for the girls' national team in the 1996 yearbook, and then I got a call from 'Shirim Vashari' and I started broadcasting. The first game was in Bloomfield, Maccabi Tel Aviv against Sakhnin with Moshe Primo, a show by Georginho, and a week later in Teddy the Hapoel Tel Aviv. That's how they just threw me into the water."

Did you have a role model?

"I don't like the phenomenon of going down on footballers. I come from the field, so I have empathy. I can explain what's wrong, but not go down on players or coaches. I don't spare criticism. I came to the position of commentary from a low place, and I had to prove my Myself. I'm very happy that it happened. Many times I was judged for who I am, and not for what I say."

Yossi Benyon with Shlomi Barzel.

Ego wars?

Have you ever felt that you were promoted because you are a woman?

There is a big dissonance here.

"First of all, whenever there's an opportunity - I'll take it and prove myself. But if I feel like I'm there just to mark a V, it's less suitable for me. I'm proud of who I am and what I am."

What is the level of excitement for the World Cup that will be broadcast on 'Kan 11'?

"Peak excitement. It's a tremendous dream. Even when I broadcast the semifinals and finals of the Women's Euro from the studios (we also interpreted Karin Sandel and Iris Antman with me), there was a celebration, but it's a completely different experience."

And by the way World Cup, who do you think will win?

"Argentina. There is an unusual phenomenon in football and it is called Leo Messi, and with all due respect to the Copa America - this is the real thing and the time has come."

Messi in Argentina uniform.

Will he win the World Cup?, Photo: AFP

And now for more controversial issues - the Israeli national team.

Today the subject in the headlines is the summoning of Atzili to the national team after the minors case.

"In my opinion, there is a difference between a team, even if it is partially funded by public money, and the Israeli national team. A national team is the lights and the dark from a professional and personal point of view.

"For example, a Jewish player who does not do military service cannot play in the national team. Why did this practice exist? To differentiate the national team socially and morally. I could have received an exemption based on my situation at home, but I did not want to. I will not enter into a debate here as to whether serving in the military is moral Or not, but set standards here.

"Then we made the separation between the team and the team. They continued to play, got paid respectably, were not financially harmed, one of them was the player of the season and was invited to the team. I mean, they were harmed zero, and everyone deserves a second chance. But they should have apologized before the last publications" .

My eyes approved.

Football was always above all,

So should football serve as an example?

"You tweet about politics and talk about these things, and I agree with you. But I'm a soccer commentator and I live the game. I was the captain of the Israeli national team, it's the greatest honor in the world. It hurts me in every nerve in my body, and also the humiliation when it happens. I think To take advantage of your status as a footballer in this way is so painful."

But there are no fixed norms here, there is a big problem here and a lot of gray area.

"We live in a small bed that is important to us. Just as it is important to us that a player does not sell a game. I want to protect the purity of football. I am not a purist, and I am not talking at all about the family aspect, that everyone can do what they want. But when it comes to the national team - it is not about In nobody's private business, from Yossi Banyon and Alon Hazan to Oren Hasson."

What do you think about the Eran Zahavi affair?

"Let's agree that in Benion, in every club he was in in the country, there were screams, and I feel that surely in the national teams it intensifies. There is a lot of respect and ego here."

you are still single

What are your ambitions in the family aspect?

"I don't want children and I never did, and neither did my partner. My parents initially had a very hard time with this decision. I am the eldest daughter and it pained them to accept this, but they want my best and are happy that I am happy, and that is who I am. Regarding marriage - I Not in favor of the rabbinical institution, but if it is important for my partner to get married, we will do so, but not through the rabbinate."

Eran Zehavi.

Will he return to the team or will the ego speak?, Photo: Alan Shiver

There are many prominent women, in the public sphere in general and in the Knesset in particular - I don't hear that any of them have an agenda of promoting women's sports.

"I agree with you one hundred percent, and I expect that the male Knesset members will also promote the issue. The best solution for increasing the base of the pyramid is through the Ministry of Education and the schools. Even when there are sports classes, some girls do not participate.

"From here I go to the committee for the promotion of women's sports, which was established at the initiative of the Minister of Education and Sports and of which I am a member. We have finished the problem-flooding phase and now we are moving to solutions. We are not in the public sphere of sports. Even to participate in this celebration, we are not really invited."

Finally, what are your aspirations after retirement?

Would you like to train men?

"I have a coaching certificate. I actually see myself in a managerial role. Last year I received an offer to be an assistant coach, and it didn't work out in terms of hours, but I see myself developing in the media. Three years ago, I suffered a serious injury, which caused me an identity crisis on such a level that I knew who I was. I was in the abyss, and then I promised myself that I would not quit until my body told me enough was enough.

"In my opinion, it is a very difficult task to prepare the mind for retirement, but over time one finds the tools to cope. The longing is inside me all the time.

eyes and ears

It is a very difficult task to prepare the soul for retirement, photo: Udi Tsitiat

I greatly enrich my life, even though everything is still around football.

Even when I worked odd jobs and went to courses, football was above all else.

The dream now is to go up with Hapoel Liga and appear in the Premier League with them, but I see the day after.

I received a gift, this germ of football love.

You need to know how to maintain it as much as possible and release it and pass it on in a beautiful way."

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Source: israelhayom

All sports articles on 2022-09-25

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