Puma to end kit deal with Israeli national football team; says decision was made in 2022

Israel players pose ahead of the Euro 2024 group I qualifying soccer match. File.
| Photo Credit: AP

 German sportswear maker Puma said on December 12 it would end a sponsorship deal with the Israeli national football team in a decision made before the beginning of the war in Gaza.

Following a strategy review carried out at the end of 2022, Puma would stop outfitting the Israeli team from next year, the company said.

“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 spokeswoman 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,” the spokeswoman said.

“The decision is based solely on business reasons,” Puma communications chief Kerstin Neuber said Tuesday.

The deal with Israel, which was signed in 2018, prompted calls to boycott the sportswear brand.

Campaigners accused Puma of endorsing illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank through its deal with the Israeli FA, which includes teams from the occupied Palestinian territory.

The outbreak in October of the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, has strengthened longstanding calls to boycott products which support Israel.

The war was triggered when Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip carried out an unprecedented attack against Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 240 hostages — 137 of whom remain in Gaza, Israeli officials say.

In response, Israel vowed to destroy Hamas and began intense bombardments and a ground offensive in Gaza that has killed at least 18,200 people, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

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