22 Upper Ground,
London, SE1 9AE
Support for Palestinian football.
You will have noticed the 26 October demonstration in Carnaby Street with placards demanding “Boycott Puma, proud sponsors of Israeli Apartheid”. The message was echoed by adverts placed in London underground carriages, by banners at the Manchester City football ground and by actions across the UK outside retail outlets such as Sports Direct. There were similar actions in France, Germany and another seventeen countries worldwide, including by fourteen rugby teams.
The campaign calls on you to stop Puma’s sponsorship of the Israeli Football Association with immediate effect. Please will you take the lead within the worldwide PUMA organisation to bring this about?
The call was made initially by 200 Palestinian football teams due to the Israeli FA’s support for Israeli war crimes by accepting into its leagues teams from the illegal settlements. These settlements contribute to serious human rights abuses and are a crime under international law.
But there are many more general reasons for curtailing Puma’s sponsorship. Israeli football presents a microcosm of Israeli society and reflects very clearly the violent Israeli repression of Palestinian human rights. Footballers are shot and injured so that they can no longer play (e.g. Mohammed Khalil in Gaza, 2018); they are killed (e.g. Laith Abu Naim, 2018); they are imprisoned without charge (e.g. Mahmoud Sarsak, 2009-2012). Football tournaments are interrupted (e.g. Silwan, East Jerusalem, 2019) and players cannot travel to games (e.g. Gazan team, Palestine Cup, 2019).
Your sponsorship makes Puma complicit in those racist actions – contrary Puma’s claim to endorse equality. It will not have escaped your attention that your sponsorship of the Israeli Football Association has the potential to damage irreparably the PUMA brand.
If you have any questions about our campaign or the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel, we would be pleased to meet with you to discuss.