Protesting sports-washing and supporting Western Sahara

July 25, 2023
Campaigning for an end to sports washing and supporting the liberation of Western Sahara. Photo: Sumitra Vignaendra

The Australian Western Sahara Association (AWSA) protested near the FIFA Women’s World Cup match between Morocco and Germany on July 24, calling for an end to sport washing.

While AWSA congratulates the Moroccan team for qualifying, for the first time, in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, it said it “strongly opposes” the joint bid by Spain, Portugal and Morocco for the 2030 World Cup.

“This bid includes a stadium in the Western Sahara, a non-self-governing territory illegally occupied by Morocco.

“Morocco has been guilty of rape and torture of the Saharawis, Sultana Khaya and Luara Khaya — members of the Saharawi Organ Against Moroccan Occupation.”

Morocco is guilty of killing civilians by drones, AWPA said. “If the joint bid by Spain, Portugal and Morocco succeeds, this would be tantamount to sports washing these atrocities.”

A letter to FIFA’s President Gianni Infantino from European Union MPs across 13 countries and five political groups also suggested that holding international events, such as football matches, in occupied territories could contravene international law.

The letter suggested that occupying powers are obliged to refrain from exploiting the resources and population of the occupied territory.

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