The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Coalition (BDS) has reiterated its call for Orlando Pirates to stop playing its match against Maccabi Tel Aviv, saying it cannot hide behind the rules.
BDS said even staunch Pirates supporters like former Cabinet Minister Ronnie Kasrils have called for the Buccaneers to boycott the match against the Israeli soccer team. Kasrils is also the patron of BDS.
Both BDS and Kasrils said they hope Pirates will join the call for the boycott and not play the match.
The coalition said it hoped that Pirates will back its move to lobby the South African government for policy on a sports boycott against the Israeli government.
It said Palestinians have endured suffering as they are killed almost everyday.
Many soccer fans and those who support Pirates have backed their call for Pirates to boycott the match against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
The match is expected to take place in Spain on Thursday.
Pirates had said it would go ahead and play the match as it did not organise it.
But BDS said Pirates fans were disappointed with this decision and it was not too late for the Buccaneers to change its mind.
This includes Kasrils, who said he was disappointed Pirates would sully its name in this manner.
“May I remind Orlando Pirates of their proud origins as a people's football club and fraternity, which was supported and adored as much for their soccer skills as an inspirational source of pride in their non-racism under apartheid.
“It is thus an immense disappointment, to say the least, that the noble Buccaneers are set to sully their human rights record by being prepared to engage in a match with an apartheid Israel team that will distress all freedom-loving people, insult the Palestinian people under the boots of a colonial settler system, and fail to support the similar boycott call, that helped topple white supremacy in South Africa.
“Come on Bucs, there can be no sport with any team that represents apartheid racism. Call off this disgraceful game which gives succour to a murderous apartheid regime,” said Kasrils.
BDS said Pirates should do what they did during the apartheid regime by fighting against what is happening in Israel by joining the boycott.