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Football club ditches sponsor Saudia over ‘anti-Semitism’

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Football club ditches sponsor Saudia

over ‘anti-Semitism’

Arabianbusiness.com, Dec. 18, 2013

A professional football club in Germany has terminated a sponsorship agreement with Saudi Arabian Airlines over the Gulf carrier’s refusal to sell tickets to Israeli citizens.

A recent article in Berliner Morgenpost reported that second tier side Frankfurt FSV scrapped its advertising deal with the airline following criticism from German Jewish residents and a rival club with Jewish origins.

“Despite the request of FSV for a statement to the allegations, Saudi Arabia’s airline as a state owned airline, referred the matter to the Saudi Arabia embassy in Berlin. For this reason, both sides decided to cancel the contractual relationship,” a statement from FSV said.

Saudi Arabian Airlines, known as Saudia, does not permit Israeli passport holders to purchase tickets or board its aircraft. The airline does not fly to any destinations in Israel, as the country and Saudi Arabia do not enjoy diplomatic relations.

The only Arab carrier that flies to Israel is Royal Jordanian, owing to a peace treaty between Jordan and the State of Israel.

Earlier this year, New York City’s mayor elect Bill De Blasio called for Saudi Arabian Airlines to be banned from the US city’s airports over its anti-Israel policy. “No city in the world has closer ties to Israel than we do, and yet Israeli citizens are being discriminated against right here at JFK. It’s not only illegal; it’s an affront to who we are,” he was quoted as saying.

A spokesperson for Saudi Arabian Airlines could not immediately be reached for comment.

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