PCB’s Reluctance Towards Supporting Palestine – Why?

Pakistan Super League, Season 9, began on February 17 with Lahore Qalandars taking on Islamabad United at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.

One missing piece in the jigsaw puzzle is the omission of pro-Palestinian voices in the league.

An incident occurred during the ongoing PSL, when a cricket supporter, Faryal, tried to enter the premises with a placard which said, “Palestine Will Be Free”, but she wasn’t allowed to, by the security personnel.

The security was abiding by the terms and conditions written behind the PSL match ticket, which states:  “Posters, banners, or placards, depicting religious, political, or racial discrimination in the form of text or pictures are strictly prohibited.”

Although, Faryal’s message was in line with the stance of ‘Pakistan’s Foreign Policy’, she still wasn’t allowed to carry Palestine’s flag. To raise awareness for the atrocities in Gaza by Israeli authorities, Faryal wrote ‘Free Palestine’ on her hand and posted the image on social media platforms.

The whole narrative around Pakistan Cricket Board not allowing Pro-Palestinian voices to be entered in the cricket grounds raises multiple questions.

Was the ‘Faryal Episode’ a one-off event, or will a similar script be followed if some other cricket supporter decides to take Palestine’s flag, or pro-Palestine message to the cricket ground?

There have been numerous instances across various sports in various parts of the world where the spectators showcased their solidarity with Palestine, and they were allowed to do so by the relevant authorities.

Scottish club, Celtic, raised concerns for Palestine when they criticized the loss of innocent lives in Palestine, especially Gaza.

Celtic fans put out banners where they conveyed to the authorities, “End The Genocide”, as the Palestinians have lost close to 30,000 people after October 07.

Palestine’s football team recently played in the Asian Cup, where they reached the knockout stage for the first time in their history.

The achievement becomes bigger when one realizes what the country was, and is, going through.

Pakistan’s football team played Tajikistan for a FIFA World Cup qualification game in Islamabad during October 2023.

At that time, many supporters brought Palestine’s flag to the ground, which didn’t face any discrimination.

The question arises, why isn’t the PCB letting pro-Palestine flags, placards, etc in the stadium? What do you think?

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Published by
Faiz Ahmed