Politics and sport clash at FIFA Women’s World Football Cup 2023


Politics and sport will clash again at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

Prominent at the tournament is the sports brand PUMA which is deeply embedded in supporting Israel’s racist policies against Palestinians. PUMA sponsors the Israel Football Association which includes clubs in illegal Israeli settlements on land stolen from Palestinians.

Time and again PUMA has been asked to end this sponsorship and its “sports-washing” of Israel’s apartheid policies but it has shown Palestinians and human rights groups its middle finger.

“PUMA has no respect for international law, United Nations resolutions or the basic principles of fairness and decency in sport,” says John Minto, National Chair of the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa.

At the Women’s World Cup this week, PUMA is a sponsor of the Moroccan and Swiss teams and is handing out large sums to the New Zealand and Australian teams because they are the host countries of the tournament.

The Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa has written to the four teams asking them to reject blood money from PUMA. We are waiting for their responses before deciding next steps.

It’s important to understand that the issue of settlements goes to the heart of the Israeli government’s racist, apartheid policies towards the indigenous people of Palestine. The establishment and expansion of these settlements, illegal under international law, involves driving Palestinian families from their homes and off their land. This is an ongoing part of the Nakba (“catastrophe”) under which Palestinians have suffered ethnic cleansing every day since 1947.

PUMA stands alongside apartheid sports teams from illegal Israeli settlements while Palestinian sportspeople are often forced to abandon practices, games and tournaments due to Israeli Defence Force harassment at checkpoints and teargassing soccer fields. Meanwhile numerous Palestinian footballers have been killed or deliberately maimed by Israeli occupation snipers.

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Not that PUMA cares.

“If FIFA had any principled moral code, PUMA sponsorship would be banned from the tournament,” says John Minto.

“Instead, FIFA has a well-deserved, notorious reputation for moral corruption where big money buys its way in and cuts across player solidarity and sporting integrity”.

FIFA was quick to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and took immediate steps to sanction Russian football but has remained silent on Israel’s 75-year-old military occupation of Palestine.

Rather than sanction Israel, FIFA is running a protection racket for the apartheid state. Israel is entered in FIFA’s “European” zone while its Middle East neighbours are entered in the “Asia” zone.

FIFA needs to develop policy condemning apartheid sport and expel Israel till it complies with basic principles of fair play and equal rights for all sportspeople living under its military occupation.

Collaboration with racism and apartheid has no place at the Women’s World Cup. It’s time to end it.


  1. The bloody Germans and their cats ….. ‘A Leopard never changes it’s spots, especially if it’s Daddy was a Tiger’.

    And ,,, ‘Puma Helping to Run ,,,, Apartheid’.

    In the Germans newly organised pyramid rankings of human races,,,, the Palestinians are down the on bottom,,, along with the Russians/Slavs.

  2. Sqaure heads lost that test, how come we knowing rugby square heads, South Africa, our knowing playing these square heads. Sguare, head yarpy coatch.


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