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Only Fifa rules bind us, Bucs management says

Pirates resist calls to snub ‘apartheid Israel’

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Orlando Pirates have confirmed that they have no intentions to boycott their pre-season friendly against Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Orlando Pirates have confirmed that they have no intentions to boycott their pre-season friendly against Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Orlando Pirates have confirmed that they have no intentions to boycott their pre-season friendly against Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv after the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Coalition (BDS) urged them to do so in solidarity with the Palestinians. 

Pirates left SA for Spain at the weekend. The Sea Robbers will have a pre-season camp there until  21 July in Marbella, during which they will face Maccabi on Thursday, before taking on Independiente del Valle two days later. To cap off the tour, Pirates will face UD Las Palmas on July 19.

“Orlando Pirates’ core functioning is governed by rules. It is to the rules that Orlando Pirates went when confronted with calls to withdraw from playing Maccabi Tel Aviv. There is no cultural boycott or boycott of any form by either the South African government, Fifa or the host country that Orlando Pirates can base its refusal to play against Maccabi Tel Aviv on,” said some of the paragraphs of Pirates’ long statement on Monday.

“Heeding a call from any other body would create a conflict within Orlando Pirates that would undermine the club’s values and history irreparably.”

On Friday, BDS, a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality,  released a statement, calling for Pirates to snub the friendly against Maccabi. BDS argued: ”There is nothing ‘friendly’ about playing a team representing apartheid Israel.” 

“As South Africans, football fans and solidarity activists against Israeli apartheid, we are calling on Orlando Pirates not to play a friendly match with Maccabi Tel Aviv scheduled for July 13 in Spain. There is nothing ‘friendly’ about playing a team representing apartheid Israel,” read BDS's statement.


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