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HUMAN rights activists are to protest outside sportswear brand Puma’s stores, offices and sponsored teams’ events across the world today against the company’s sponsorship of the Israeli Football Association (IFA).
The protests are set to take place in 50 locations across 20 countries using the slogan of #BoycottPuma.
The IFA includes football teams based in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Over 200 Palestinian sports teams have urged Puma to end its sponsorship of the IFA “due to its deep complicity in Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.”
Israeli settlements are illegal and considered war crimes under international law.
Campaigners are calling on the company to end its support for Israel’s decades-old military occupation by terminating its sponsorship contract with the IFA.
On Wednesday, London’s Underground was filled with “Boycott Puma” advertisements, naming Puma as “proud sponsor of Israeli apartheid.” Further protests are planned to take place across Britain this weekend.
In New York, human rights activists will protest at Puma’s new Fifth Avenue flagship store.
At a match this Saturday, fans of Belfast’s Cliftonville Football Club will be calling on the team to end its sponsorship deal with Puma.
Last week, the Donegal Celtic Football Club in Belfast posed with “Boycott Puma” signs in support of the call from Palestinian teams.
In Malaysia, a solidarity football match at the public university USIM will raise awareness of Puma’s complicity in Israel’s military rule over Palestinians.
A dozen cities across France will join the day of action, with calls for Olympique de Marseille Football Club to drop Puma.
In New Zealand, human rights activists are calling on the Silver Ferns, the Women’s National Netball Team, to show the “character and values” they are known for by dropping Puma as a sponsor.
Groups in Manchester and Girona are calling on City Football Group, owners of Manchester City and Girona Football Club, to end the group’s sponsorship deal with Puma.
On social media, supporters are posting images of Puma clothing, shoes and bags with “Boycott” written over the logo, using the hashtag #RebrandPuma.
Stephanie Adam, of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), said: “Puma’s sponsorship of the Israel Football Association gives legitimacy to Israel’s expanding illegal settlement regime.
“Israel’s settlements are nothing more than illegal land grabs that force indigenous Palestinian families from their land.
“Puma’s claim of a ‘devotion to universal equality’ is a slap in the face of Palestinian families subjected to Israel’s home demolitions, military checkpoints and apartheid wall.
“Sports fans and supporters of Palestinian human rights around the world insist it should end its support for Israel’s violations of international law and assaults on Palestinian families.”
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