Puma to end kit deal with Israeli national football team

Puma to end kit deal with israeli national football team0Puma, a German sportswear company, announced Tuesday that it would discontinue a sponsorship agreement with the Israeli national football team, a decision made before to the start of the Gaza conflict.

According to the firm, Puma will discontinue equipping the Israeli squad starting next year, following a strategy review at the end of 2022.

“While two newly signed national teams — including a new statement team — will be announced later this year and in 2024, the contracts of some federations such as Serbia and Israel will expire in 2024,” a spokesman said in a statement.

“These decisions were taken in 2022 in line with the regular timelines for the design (and) development of the team jerseys,” a spokesperson added.

The agreement with Israel, struck in 2018, triggered calls to boycott the sportswear company.

Puma has been accused by campaigners of sponsoring illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank through its partnership with the Israeli Football Association, which includes clubs from the occupied Palestinian area.

The commencement of the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas in October has reinforced long-standing demands to boycott products that support Israel.

The conflict began on October 7, when Hamas militants from Gaza launched an unprecedented onslaught on Israel, killing around 1,200 people, largely civilians, and kidnapping approximately 240 captives, 137 of whom remain in Gaza, according to Israeli officials.

In response, Israel promised to destroy Hamas and launched a ground offensive in Gaza, killing at least 18,200 people, the majority of them were women and children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

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