The Grass is Greener: first steps of professionalism in Israeli football

Udi Carmi, Amir Ben Porat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


During the first decade of the State of Israel (1950s), football was the most popular sport in the country. Yet at the time football in Israel was governed by political interests and was non-professional as well, such that players could not receive any material remuneration and were expected to be loyal to the club and the state. Nevertheless, a few players left their clubs and their country and travelled abroad to play as professionals. This act provoked a harsh response from the media and the Israel Football Association (IFA) and also from politicians from every Zionist organization in Israel. The present paper tells the story of these footballers and the sanctions imposed upon them by the authorities in order to put a stop to this practice, mainly because of its perceived threat to Israeli society as a whole.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-612
Number of pages13
JournalSoccer and Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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