Israeli NGO asks Barcelona to suspend ties with Qatar Foundation

Jerusalem, July 14 (IANS) An Israeli NGO has called on FC Barcelona to suspend ties with its Qatar Foundation title sponsor as it is “immoral to receive funding from a country that supports terrorist groups”.

The international NGO, Shurat HaDin Israeli Law Center, has sent a letter to this effect to Barcelona’s board, reports Efe.

“We know that Qatar has offered political support and funded, in some cases, groups like Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and Hamas, so we should not wait for the death of Spanish citizens to discover such links,” Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the NGO’s president said on Monday.

Shurat HaDin has managed in recent years to launch prosecutions in several countries against Palestinian leaders on charges of terrorism.

The NGO said in the letter that it is “immoral” that FC Barcelona club receives money from Qatar, which “is proud of its support for armed groups.”

The letter, written in English and addressed to club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, also recalled that the campaign under candidate Joan Laporta stands to remove Qatar Foundation’s logo from the Blaugrana jersey for “corruption,” and would order the UNICEF logo return to take its place.

“We follow the activities of Qatar for some time and we believe it is time to present our request, given the approach of the club’s elections and statements made by one of the candidates regarding interrupting such an agreement,” Darshan-Leitner explained.

Darshan-Leitner sees that the Qatar logo on Barca’s shirt “helps Qatar obtain international legitimacy.”

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