The Shmooze

Brazilian Sport Makes Its Way to Tel Aviv Beaches

By Josh Tapper

For years, Tel Aviv’s beaches have sought to capture a little Copacabana swagger, providing a hedonistic alternative to the more pious activities of nearby Jerusalem. Seven years ago, footvolley, a soccer-volleyball hybrid developed in Rio de Janeiro, first appeared on Tel Aviv’s Gordon Beach. Now, thanks to a former Israeli nightclub owner, the Brazilian sport is an Israeli beach fixture.

Haaretz recently profiled 27-year-old Amir Zohar, ostensibly the father of Israeli footvolley. After witnessing a Brazilian soccer team play the sport, Zohar sold his club, dropped everything, and began practicing. He operated small tournaments before founding a league, the Israeli Footvolley Association, currently sponsored by Corona.

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