Soccer (illustration)
Soccer (illustration) iStock

A British soccer team has lost sponsors after flying the Palestinian Authority flag on a game day and also putting up anti-Israel billboards around its field.

Two sponsors have pulled out from lending their support to the Forest Green Rovers over the team’s owner's pro-Palestinian activism, which included owner Dale Vince interviewing Palestinian Mission to the UK chief Husam Zomlot on the team's field. During the conversation, the League One team executive expressed solidarity with Palestinian Arabs and said that his team was also pro-Palestinian, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

The interview took place seated on the team’s field, with the men surrounded by digital billboards that said, “End the invasion and occupation of Palestine.”

Vince also posted pro-Palestinian content to Twitter, tweeting: “We flew this flag at FGR’s game today. In solidarity with Palestine... The conflict there has all the same ingredients as the one in Ukraine – invasion, occupation, murder of civilians, destruction of homes and hospitals – and sieges.”

The team was subject to a complaint by advocacy group UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) who sent a letter to the team's office and also the Football Association charging that flying the Palestinian Authority flag and putting anti-Israel advertisements around the field are in breach of the team’s charter and go against FA regulations against politics in soccer.

Vince replied to the letter in a tweet: “Your letter is a simple attempt to intimidate – as is often the way when people speak out in support of Palestine.”

According to the outlet, Vince has flown the Palestinian flag at the team’s home games multiple times, including on one occasion when the shocked Jewish owner of a company sponsoring the game was there with his two sons.