The Israel Football Association is the body which controls all organized football in Israel and celebrated its 80’th anniversary on 2008. Around a thousand teams, ranging from young children, youth, adults both men and women numbering a total of some 30,000 players who are registered at the IFA and take part all year round in domestic competitions (League, State Cup and Toto Cup). The Association is responsible for the organization off all League and State Cup matches, operates Disciplinary Courts, in addition to housing an independent Referees Union, and is the driving force behind hundreds of matches each week.
The FA’s pinnacle has always been the operation management of all the National teams - from U-16’s to the ‘A’ team both Men and Women - intensive activity all year round. Since its inception, IFA has always been a member of FIFA, the World Football Governing body. Up until the late 70’s, Israel played its international matches under the Asian Confederation both at national and club levels. The Arab boycott led to the ostracizing of Israeli football from the Asian confederation relocating Israel’s World Cup and Olympic Games qualifying competition to the Oceania group. At the time, the IFA continued pursuing its efforts to join the European fold and play under UEFA’s auspices.
Those efforts were deemed successful in the early 90’s were Israel has been accepted by the European football community as a full UEFA member – a fact which sees its national teams of men, women and youth as well as its affiliated clubs play in international competitions organized by UEFA.
The integration into Europe came as a breath of fresh air to Israeli Football but together with it came the difficulties of adapting to a much higher level and requirements.