Palestinian sports groups threaten Puma boycott over Israel sponsorship

The heads of more than 200 Palestinian sports organizations have threatened to boycott sportswear giant Puma over its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA).
In an open letter signed by 215 sports clubs and associations, the groups said six Israeli football clubs are located on land which Palestinians have branded as “illegal Israeli settlements.”

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“Israel’s settlements contribute to serious human rights abuses and are a direct cause for restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement, access to natural resources and ability to build homes and conduct business,” the letter reads.

The Palestinian sports organizations claimed that Puma’s sponsorship whitewashes Israel’s actions despite their settlements being slammed as “flagrant violations” of international law by a UN Security Council Resolution.

“As the main international sponsor of the IFA, Puma is lending its brand to cover up and whitewash Israel’s human rights abuses,” the letter said, adding that the company’s Code of Ethics requires compliance with international law.

“We urge you to abide by your Code of Ethics by withdrawing your sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA) until it ends its involvement in Israel’s grave violations of international law and human rights abuses against Palestinians,” the letter adds.

The four-year sponsorship agreement between Puma and the IFA was signed in July.

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