Fans barred from displaying pro-Palestine banners at PSL matches

Fans barred from displaying pro-Palestine banners at PSL matches

Expressions of solidarity with Palestine have become increasingly visible at sporting events around the world.
Fans barred from displaying pro-Palestine banners at PSL matches

Web Desk

|

21 Feb 2024

Reports of an alleged ban on Palestine flags at Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches have sparked further controversy, adding to existing public anger surrounding the league's collaboration with KFC, a food-chain whose parent company invests in Israel.

Cricket fans and Palestine supporters have expressed concern on social media regarding reports of a ban on bringing Palestinian flags to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore

Human rights activist Nida Kirmani criticised the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for restricting the display of Palestinian flags and placards within the stadium.

“All over the world, people are standing up for Palestine, & sports matches are serving as important sites to make a public statement. Shame on the PCB for denying people this opportunity. Such a cowardly position at such a critical moment,” her post read on microblogging site ‘X’. 

Earlier, an ‘X’ user Faryal claimed in a post that she was denied entry to the Gaddafi Stadium with a Palestinian banner, stating the reason given was "mentioning a controversial thing." She further alleged,”They acted like I’m carrying a weapon with me.” 

Though the officials guarding the cricket grounds are following orders in line with ICC and PCB policies, which prohibit "Posters, banners, or placards depicting religious, political, or racial discrimination in the form of text or pictures" within the stadium. Similar incidents have occurred in other countries where fans were restricted from carrying pro-Palestine manifestations into the stadium.

However, the suppression of expressions of solidarity on home ground, despite the Pakistani government's open support for the Palestinian resistance, is a cause of concern.

Expressions of empathy and with Palestine have become increasingly visible at sporting events around the world. From chants of 'Free Palestine' to Palestinian flags waving in stadiums, fans are using these platforms to express their support for the cause.

Celtic's Green Brigade recently expressed solidarity with Palestine on February 17, during a Scottish Premiership match. In Brazil, Flamengo Antifascista members and Sao Paulo fans waved Palestinian flags in separate football matches. Kuwait's Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium saw Palestinian flags and keffiyehs during a World Cup qualifier. The Indonesian Football Association announced FIFA's approval for displaying Palestinian flags during the U-17 World Cup in November, 2023. 

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