The sports giant Puma is finally set to conclude its sponsorship of Israel’s national football team and governing body by 2024, as confirmed by a company spokesperson on Tuesday. 
According to the German multinational, this strategic shift — in the works since last year — is apparently unrelated to the conflict in Gaza.
However, it is evident that the company has come under growing pressure amid increasingly popular consumer boycott appeals against the apartheid state in its barbaric violence against the Palestinians.
A Puma spokesperson stated,
“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.” 
Facing persistent boycott calls due to its association with the Israel Football Association (IFA), Puma has weathered scrutiny that has only intensified during the Zionist state’s recent two-month+ offensive in Gaza, resulting in the needless loss of over 18,000 Palestinian lives. 
A win for BDS
The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement was quick to label Puma’s announcement as a win for the campaign. 
Since 2005, the Palestinian-led movement has sought to tighten a financial noose around Israel’s economy by urging communities around the world to boycott Israeli goods and services, divest from investing in its companies, and to sanction its businesses and economy.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) — one of the founders of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) — which is tasked with overseeing the academic and cultural elements of BDS, has noted,
“As Israel carries out its unfolding genocide against 2.3 million Palestinians in occupied and besieged Gaza, killing over 18,000, including dozens of footballers, the boycott pressure was only increasing.
“The years of relentless, global BDS pressure on PUMA and the damage to its image should be a lesson to all companies supporting Israeli apartheid, that complicity has consequences. It is also a lesson to the deeply complicit, Western-dominated FIFA, which continues to shield Israel from accountability despite the settlement teams violating its own statutes.
“We thank the hundreds of grassroots solidarity groups, athletes and teams across the world who supported the call from 215 Palestinian teams to boycott PUMA.” 
Puma had been the target of the BDS campaign since 2018 over its support for the Israel Football Association and the illegal apartheid state.
As well as maintaining football clubs in occupied Palestine, the IFA also maintains Jewish-only clubs in the occupied West Bank where an increasingly large number of illegal Zionist settler colonies continue to be built.
Under pressure to end IFA contract
Puma initially inked its contract with the IFA in 2018, marking the beginning of a short partnership that is now set to cease.
This decision has come amidst a dynamic period in the wider sports industry, emphasising the importance of strategic alliances and brand positioning.
Since the apartheid state launched its brutal and indiscriminate attacks on the Gaza Strip on 7 October, large swathes of the territory have been reduced to rubble, including homes, businesses, churches, mosques, and hospitals.
Nearly 20,000 Palestinian men, women, and children — mostly women and children — have been martyred in this ongoing round of Zionist brutalisation.
We cannot let ourselves become desensitised to the constant updates, this number is truly eye-watering in terms of scale; according to a recent Haaretz investigation, the figure surpasses civilian deaths during all 20th century wars.
It is, therefore, about time that Puma and indeed other global brands took decisive action and parted ways with the Zionist state. It can no longer be acceptable for a brand such as Puma to continue working — in effect — alongside a state that was founded illegally and continues to encroach upon Palestinian land, while falsely claiming a right to self-defence.
We welcome the approaching end to the IFA sponsorship and expect other companies to follow suit. There needs to be a sea change in how corporations and governments view the issue of Palestine and Israel; this may be the start of a wider move and the emboldening of others in the clothing sector.
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