FORMER Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has given the thumbs up to an Irish soccer club’s new jersey, which aims to raise money to support children in Palestine.
Last month, Dublin club Bohemian FC unveiled their 2023 away shirt featuring red, green and black detailing and a dove icon, after teaming up with the organisation Palestine Sport for Life.
The club says it hopes to raise awareness of human rights violations in Palestine and raise much-needed funds to support access to sports for children in the Tulkarem Camp in the West Bank.
🇵🇸 Our latest Bohemians Palestine jersey has been dispatched to… recent Dalymount visitor @jeremycorbyn
— Bohemian Football Club (@bfcdublin) February 28, 2023
On Tuesday, Bohemians shared a picture on their Twitter and Instagram accounts of Islington North MP Mr Corbyn giving the thumbs up while wearing the new jersey.
The club added that Arsenal fan Mr Corbyn had recently visited Bohemians’ Dalymount Park ground.
Ten per cent of the profits from the jersey will go to the Palestine Sport for Life project in Tulkarem to provide sports equipment.
The project supports children from the Tulkarem Camp in the West Bank and the nearby Nur Shams Camp.
Both camps are densely populated with no open spaces, meaning children have no place to play except for school playgrounds.
‘Football has enormous power’
Speaking at the kit’s recent launch, Bohs COO Daniel Lambert said he hoped the move would help Palestinian children, who face ‘unimaginable challenges’.
“Football has enormous power to be a force for good across the world,” he said.
“At Bohemians we have undertaken many initiatives to harness this power in Ireland, in particular to support and champion the situations of people who are homeless or refugees in Direct Provision.
“This 2023 shirt is aiming to take that power from Ireland and assist children in Palestine who face unimaginable challenges and human rights violations each and every day.
“Their right to play and to have an actual childhood should never be taken away and we hope that this partnership with Palestine Sport for Life will assist many young Palestinians, as well as highlighting their plight to our fanbase and others in the world of football.”
Meanwhile, Dr Philip Jaffe, Vice-Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, praised the move.
“I commend the Bohemian Football Club for using their jersey to highlight the human rights violations faced by children in Palestine, including the right to life, to education, to adequate housing, and especially the right to play,” said Dr Jaffe.
“By building a relationship with Palestine Sport for Life and providing resources to support children’s right to play in the Tulkarem, Bohs are playing the role of a good global citizen.”
The jersey builds on similar initiatives undertaken by Bohemians in recent years.
In 2020, in collaboration with Amnesty International, the club’s away jersey focused on promoting the integration of refugees.
The following season, Bohs worked with the charity Focus Ireland and Irish band Fontaines D.C. to highlight the unacceptable levels of homelessness in Dublin.
Most recently, the club partnered with the family of Bob Marley to release a jersey commemorating the music legend’s last-ever outdoor gig, which took place at Dalymount Park.
Funds raised went towards providing music and sports equipment to refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland.
The Bohemian FC Palestine jersey, in association with Palestine Sport for Life, is available from the Bohs club shop at www.shop-bohemianfc.com.