June 16, 2019
The pro-Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is calling on its supporters to boycott German sportswear giant Puma over its ties with the Israel Football Association.
In late 2018, Puma signed a four-year sponsorship deal with the IFA, which includes six clubs from communities in Judea and Samaria. The deal saw Puma replace industry counterpart Adidas, which had been an IFA sponsor for 10 years until it ended its relationship with the Israeli organization over a similar BDS campaign.
“At the heart of the issue is that the football teams the IFA allows to play in the West Bank are located in occupied territory in violation of both international law and the rules of football’s global governing body FIFA,” the BDS movement said, referring to the international football federation.
“Through its agreement with the IFA, Puma is not only helping to normalize this situation but is also profiting from it. Worse, by sponsoring Israeli national teams, Puma is helping Israel harness the power of football’s global popularity and potent symbolism to use participation in European and international competitions as a means to launder its international image and present itself as a normal country."
According to several pro-BDS websites, the call to boycott Puma is supported by over 200 Palestinian sports clubs and associations, as well as by prominent Palestinian athletes, including the captain of the Palestinian men’s national football team Abdullatef Buhdari and Aya Khattab of the women’s national football team.
Pro-Israel organization StandWithUs slammed the move, tweeting, “Sports are supposed to unite and bring people together, BDS drives them apart.”
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