Goldsmiths rugby team criticised for Palestinian flag on shirt

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Goldsmiths rugby team criticised for Palestinian flag on shirt

The body that runs sport in higher education hits out at a London university rugby side for mixing politics with sport

Goldsmiths University students wearing a Palestinian flag on their shirts
Goldsmiths University students wearing a Palestinian flag on their shirts

The national governing body for higher education sport in the UK has criticised Goldsmiths University Rugby Football Club for promoting an Israel boycott on its new season’s kit, telling the team to keep politics out of it.

A spokesman for British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) said the organisation was discussing its concerns with the University, after the Club included a Palestinian flag on its kit as a show of solidarity with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The BUCS spokesman said: “We are in contact with Goldsmiths at a local level to understand their position, but currently the matter remains with the College and Students Union. BUCS believes that sport and sporting arenas should not be used to further any political viewpoint, sport is inclusive and should be welcoming to all.”

Showing off the new kit on Facebook last month, the Club said: “We’re excited to reveal our new kit which features the Palestinian flag as part of our SU’s continued commitment to supporting BDS. We’re hoping through our work with Goldsmiths Palestine Society this year we can encourage more societies and clubs to endorse and raise awareness about BDS.”

The Union of Jewish Students said: “Sport is not an area where political acts should be welcomed and this inherently political act is likely to alienate many Jewish students. It is an unfair and unsporting tactic.”

A spokesman for the University said the decision was taken by the Students’ Union, adding: “It’s disappointing… Sport should be unifying and should be played without borders and by all. No one should feel alienated or excluded.”

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