Championship team Luton Town FC have announced they have dropped PUMA as their first-team kit supplier, switching to UMBRO for the upcoming 2020/21 season.
The decision has been hailed as a victory by Palestinian rights campaigners, who have been targeting PUMA for its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association, which includes teams based in illegal Jewish-only Israeli settlements based on stolen Palestinian land.
Human rights campaigners, co-ordinated by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, had been putting Luton Town FC under pressure to end the kit deal. Over 5000 e-mails had been sent to Luton’s management calling on them to end the kit deal, and the local Luton PSC branch has engaged with the club directly asking them to end their relationship with PUMA.
The decision comes amidst other clubs opting not to work with PUMA this year, including Premier League champions Liverpool FC and Chester FC. Forest Green Rovers have also clearly stated that they will not work with PUMA until they respect Palestinian human rights.
·The decision follows sustained pressure on the club, including over 5000 e-mails sent by human rights supporters, and pressure from the local Luton PSC branch
Markus Keaney, the Media Spokesperson for Luton Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: “We would like to thank Luton Town FC for their constructive responses to our calls to boycott Puma, and for notifying us directly of their decision to drop the company as their kit supplier. We hope other clubs will follow suit and choose to stand with justice, freedom, and equality.”
Ben Jamal, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: “This decision will give a huge boost to the international campaign, which PSC is leading in the UK, to boycott Puma until it ends its complicity with Israel’s violations of international law.
Championship team Luton Town FC drop PUMA as a kit supplier, shifting to Umbro. This victory for human rights campaigners follows decisions by other football clubs not to work with PUMA.
Its a reminder to all sports organizations of their responsibilities to ensure their commercial relationships reflect their obligations to act ethically and not be complicit in rights abuses”.