HERZOGENAURACH, Germany — German sportswear giant Puma says its decision to end its collaboration with Israel’s national soccer team next year was made in 2022 — before the current Israel-Hamas war started.
“The decision is based solely on business reasons,” Puma communications chief Kerstin Neuber said Tuesday.
Puma, which has faced calls for consumer boycotts over its contract with the Israeli soccer association, said the decision was made at the end of 2022 when the company decided to implement its “fewer-bigger-better strategy” and apply it to its marketing campaigns.
Changes were made after a review of the company’s roster of national teams based on commercial factors and participation in major international tournaments, Neuber 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,” Neuber said. “These decisions were taken in 2022 in line with the regular timelines for the design and development of the team jerseys.”
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