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Men’s football Palestine Solidarity Campaign declare Luton boycotting Puma is down to pressure from campaigners

ACTIVISTS have claimed to have successfully forced Luton Town into dropping sponsor Puma in solidarity with Palestine.

Pressure from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s (PSC) Luton branch and other rights campaigners will see the Championship club make the switch to Umbro for the upcoming 2020-21 season.

The club signed a four-year deal with Puma in 2016 with an option to extend it by a possible two years. However, news broke on Friday of the Hatters inking a kit deal with Umbro but failed to disclose the reason for the change.

Today, the PSC revealed in a statement seen by the Star that over 5,000 emails had been delivered to Luton’s management demanding the immediate end to the kit deal, which was due to run out this summer, and that this course of action, along with Luton’s PSC branch engaging directly with the club, forced their hand.

Puma currently sponsors the Israeli FA, including teams based in illegal Jewish-only Israeli settlements based on stolen Palestinian land. 

Luton PSC media spokesman Markus Keaney hailed the change, saying: “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.”

PSC director Ben Jamal also hailed Luton’s move. He 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. It’s a reminder to all sports organisations of their responsibilities to ensure their commercial relationships reflect their obligations to act ethically and not be complicit in rights abuses.”

Luton join Chester and Forest Green Rovers in dropping the brand from their kits.

Speaking at the time of Chester’s decision, PSC campaigns officer James Tuite said: “We’d like to thank the thousands of people who emailed Chester FC and took to Twitter … The response we received shows our campaign is gaining momentum and that UK clubs are feeling the heat to #BoycottPuma.”

The PSC announced in May that Forest Green Rovers owner Vince Dale had called the Israeli occupation of Palestine the greatest global injustice of his lifetime and that the club were moving on from the manufacturer.
 

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