In a show of support for future development of the sport in Israel, the women’s Chelsea Football Club team visited HaMoshava Stadium in Petah Tikva on Aug. 20 for a sold-out pre-season match against the Israel women’s national team. The Israeli team lost 3-1.
Bruce Buck, Chelsea FC chairman, voiced his hope that the club’s visit to Israel would “not only be a special moment for our Israeli fans and our players, but also help to grow the game in the country.”
Representing Israel’s largest women’s football game yet with 8,534 spectators and sponsored by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and the Israel Football Association, the match followed the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, and aimed to help to create greater visibility for the women’s game while preparing Chelsea Women for the upcoming Super League season.
The day before the match the Chelsea Women toured Jerusalem, including the Old City’s Jaffa Gate, Christian Quarter, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jewish Quarter and Western Wall. At the Western Wall Abramovich greeted the team, who left notes in the wall as is traditional for those visiting the site.
The football club also teamed up with the Peres Center for Peace, participating in a female empowerment workshop and coaching session with Israeli and Palestinian girls.
Earlier this year, Chelsea’s men’s team played a charity game in Boston, raising $4 million for the fight against anti-Semitism.
“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,” noted Buck.
“This match in Israel is another step in Chelsea’s commitment to using the power of football for good causes around the world,” he said.