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  • Pro-Palestine activists protest outside a Puma store.

    Pro-Palestine activists protest outside a Puma store. | Photo: Twitter

Published 16 June 2019

The campaign denounces Israel's Football Association for including “football clubs based in illegal Israeli settlements to participate in its leagues and competitions." 

Over 200 Palestinian football clubs and sports organizations, supported by rights groups across the world, are calling for the boycott of German-based sports brand Puma to end its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA).

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"When companies like Puma sponsor and profit from illegal settlements, they give a nod to Israel's far-right regime that its criminal land grabs and attacks on Palestinian sports can continue unabated," a statement by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) said.

The campaign denounces Israel's Football Association for including “football clubs based in illegal Israeli settlements to participate in its leagues and competitions," adding that the "Israeli military occupation expels Palestinian families, including children, from their homes to give way for these settlements. Israeli settlements are considered as war crimes under international law.”

Actions systematically carried out in the expansion of Jewish-only settlements across the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem.

Earlier this year, Adidas dropped the IFA after an international campaign that delivered over 16,000 signatures in support of the petition.

Last September, more than 200 Palestinian sports clubs wrote a letter to Puma CEO Bjorn Gulden and all the members of the company’s Management and Supervisory Board requesting them to drop the IFA “due to its deep complicity in Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.”

The Palestinian sports clubs warned Puma that as the main international sponsor of Israel’s federation and national team it is “lending its brand to cover up and whitewash Israel’s human rights abuses.”

In 2017, United Nations Special Rapporteur Richard Falk signed a collective letter to FIFA criticizing the “selective enforcement of its own rules, which prohibit any member federation from holding matches on the territory of another without the latter’s approval.”

However, neither FIFA nor the IFA has acted accordingly.

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