Cricketer Naom i Eytan (top row, third from left) was told by the Tel Aviv District Court that she will not be able to represent Israel at the upcoming Maccabiah together with the rest of her teammates from the Israel under-19 national team, which the Court ruled is male-only..
(photo credit: NAAMAT INTERNATIONAL FACEBOOK)
A teenage girl that was left off Israel’s otherwise all-boys cricket team for the upcoming Maccabiah had her appeal to be reinstated in the side rejected by the Tel Aviv District Court on Sunday.
Naomi Eytan, 14, is the only girl on the Israeli national under-19 cricket team. But she was been told that she will not be allowed to join her teammates in the Maccabiah, which begins on Tuesday.
According to the organizers, the regulations of the International Cricket Council, the world governing body for the sport, do not permit a girl to compete against boys.
Nevertheless, Eytan and her mother Carmel Eytan, who is the spokeswoman for the Na’amat Israeli women’s rights organization, along with Na’amat itself, filed a request against the Maccabiah Games Committee and Maccabiah International in the hope of setting a precedent.
“I’m an athlete and I’ll always be one. No judge’s decision will break me,” said Eytan after her appeal was rejected. “My way of proving that I am equal to the boys is to continue training and to participate in the future in the European Championship.”
Galia Wolloch, president of Na’amat, said following the court’s ruling that “the sad decision of the court, which is based on bureaucratic arguments, is harmful for women’s sports in Israel in general and in cricket in particular. While attempts are underway throughout the world to break the glass ceiling, the judge’s decision today strengthens it and sets it in concrete.”
Ahead of the decision, Carmel Eytan, posted a photo of her daughter standing with the rest of the team.
“Look how she stands among them so proud in the new uniform, and how heartbreaking it will be if, as a result of an unfair decision, this place that she earned through blood, sweat and tears will be taken away from her for one reason – just because she is a girl!” Eytan wrote.
The competitions of the 20th Maccabiah will already get under way on Tuesday when the rugby event begins.
Around 10,000 people from over 80 countries will participate in the games.