The Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement announced Tuesday that sports brand Adidas will no longer sponsor the Israel Football Association (IFA), after a campaign asking the sports giant to stop its complicity in the oppression of Palestinian people who live under military occupation, and with the ongoing colonization of their land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
In March over 130 Palestinian football clubs urged Adidas to end its sponsorship of the IFA over its inclusion of six teams based in Israeli settlements across occupied lands, a policy considered illegal under international law.
In June, a petition calling on Adidas to drop the IFA, signed by over 16,000 people, was delivered to Adidas headquarters in Amsterdam. In a response to the petition, Adidas said: “We have raised with FIFA the need for them to adjudicate on the question of the Israeli settlement teams, by following the tenets of international law and their human rights policy.”
According to the official BDS website, international human rights organizations, experts, and over 100 European legislators have urged FIFA to resolve the issue of Israeli settlement clubs. Despite these calls, FIFA has refused to address the issue saying they will remain “neutral.”
Calls by the BDS movement to boycott Adidas have been issued since 2012.
It is unclear if the campaign was directly responsible for Adidas no longer sponsoring Israeli football, however, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel welcomed the news and has now issued a campaign calling for boycotting Puma sports brand as it replaced Adidas as the sponsor for IFA.
BDS victories have been adding up since the Great March of Return in Gaza, which had begun on March 30, was brutally repressed by Israeli occupation forces that used live ammunition and what human rights groups have called a “shoot-to-kill-or-maim” policy.
Since then, Israel has murdered over 150 people, including journalists, medics, and children.