Chelsea women pumped for upcoming match against Israel national team

While in Israel, the Chelsea Foundation will be working with a number of charities promoting women’s sports and supporting girls’ grassroots soccer.

By JERUSALEM POST SPORTS STAFF
August 8, 2019 23:48
2 minute read.
CHELSEA MANAGER Emma Hayes (left) and midfielder Anita Asante (right) are excited for the club’s upc

CHELSEA MANAGER Emma Hayes (left) and midfielder Anita Asante (right) are excited for the club’s upcoming trip to Israel to face the national team. (photo credit: CHELSEA FOOTBALL CLUB)

Later this month, Chelsea FC Women will travel to Israel to face the Israeli women’s national team in a match to celebrate women’s soccer and support further development of the sport in Israel. The game – entrance to which will be free of charge – will take place on August 20 at the Moshava Stadium in Petah Tikva and is being sponsored by Chelsea’s Jewish owner Roman Abramovich and the Israel Football Association.

This week, The Jerusalem Post had the opportunity to speak with Chelsea manager Emma Hayes and midfielder Anita Asante, who shared their sentiments about the upcoming trip to Israel and the state of women’s soccer globally.

“I think it’s fair to say that we are extremely excited to come to Israel,” said Hayes. “For me it is my first trip to the country, as I’m sure it is for many of our players, and it is an opportunity to further prepare ourselves for the season, while more importantly a chance to influence women’s football and especially young players coming from the Israeli system. We are all very much looking forward.”

While in Israel, the Chelsea Foundation will be working with a number of charities promoting women’s sports and supporting girls’ grassroots soccer.

Asante was particularly into the idea of “inspiring young Israeli girls and learning about the culture of such an historically rich country. Hopefully, everyone will also be able to come out and just enjoy an exciting game.”

Announcing the match, Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck said: "We are delighted to be taking the team to Israel this summer to play the women’s national team. As well as a challenging part of our pre-season, this match will help raise the profile of women’s football.

“We hope that our visit to Israel will not only be a special moment for our Israeli fans and our players, but also help to grow the game in the country.

“Earlier this year, the men’s team played a charity game in Boston, raising $4 million for the fight against antisemitism. Our women’s team has also been heavily involved in our campaign, meeting Holocaust survivor Susan Pollock and marking Holocaust Remembrance Day through the #WeRemember campaign…This match in Israel is another step in Chelsea’s commitment to using the power of football for good causes around the world.”

Hayes pointed out that this match comes at the perfect time, following this summer’s Women’s World Cup.

“The popularity of the women’s game is certainly increasing, as evidenced by the media attention that the tournament in France received.

“We are also seeing the movement of some of the best players in the world to different clubs, which is making the women’s leagues much more competitive, helping us to attract new fans in places like Israel, and that’s what we really want to see.

Rotem Kamer, IFA General Secretary, added: "The arrival of Chelsea Women for a friendly match in Israel is an excellent opportunity to place the focus on female football, certainly when such a leading team pays a visit. Israel’s national women’s team has begun the preparations for the European Championship 2021 qualifiers and the match against Chelsea will allow us to prepare for top rivals such as Italy and Denmark.

“The contribution of Chelsea, led by owner Roman Abramovich, to the fight against antisemitism and the promotion of equality and tolerance is well known and we see the match as a combined effort in achieving important social goals.”


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