Cricket fans enraged after PSL ‘bars’ pro-Palestine banners at stadiums

Cricket fans enraged after PSL ‘bars’ pro-Palestine banners at stadiums

The league has also been getting a lot of flak for its choice of sponsors.
22 Feb, 2024

The Pakistan Super League (PSL) has been getting a lot of flak online after news broke that pro-Palestine banners have allegedly been banned in stadiums during matches. That, coupled with concerns about the league’s sponsors being on anti-Palestine lists, has riled people up and led to calls for a boycott.

Social media users have been sharing pictures of brand logos on players’ jerseys as well as on signboards at stadiums, urging fellow netizens to steer clear of supporting the event and in turn, companies that may be on the BDS list or linked to a company that is.

Most recently, the event came under fire for allegedly disallowing pro-Palestine banners into the stadium. After an attendee revealed on X that she was barred from carrying one into the Gaddafi Stadium on Monday night — during the match between the Lahore Qalandars and Quetta Gladiators — many on the micro-blogging site lambasted both the PCB and PSL.

“They acted like I’m carrying a weapon with me,” Faryal wrote on X. The attendee revealed that she was in possession of a banner declaring, “Palestine Will Be Free”. In a conversation with Dawn a day later, Faryal held that the guards were clear about it not being “allowed” inside.

“This is a political message, it is controversial and may hurt some people. If you want to go inside, you’ve to leave it here,” they said, as per Faryal. How the guards behaved, Faryal said, “scared my younger siblings who were accompanying me and I chose not to argue”.

While the guards may have been abiding by one of the terms and conditions printed on the PSL tickets — “Posters, banners, or placards, depicting religious, political, or racial discrimination in the form of text or pictures are strictly prohibited” — whether the statement on Faryal’s banner was “discriminatory” to any religion, country or race is debatable.

Moreover, it wasn’t the discrimination that the guards pointed towards rather, the “controversy” it would create — a sentiment eerily similar to the half-baked justification provided across the world to silence those speaking against the oppression of Palestinian people at the hands of Israel.

Images hasn’t been able to verify whether the condition has always been a part of the PSL events conducted over the years or whether it was recently introduced or rephrased so as to prevent attendees from making “political statements”. The PCB did not respond to Dawn’s earlier request for a comment.

Writer Fatima Bhutto was one of many people calling out the PSL on X. “If you are not a free space where fans can show their love and solidarity for a people under brutal assault, why should anyone sit in your stands and pay for your tickets and take pictures in your t-shirts and give you their attention, time and money?” she asked.

“Pro-Palestine banners and posters barred at PSL matches, Islamic Republic of Pakistan for you all!!” mocked a user. “This is from Purdue. Yet, you can not raise your voice in Pakistan (a Muslim country, or is it?)” asked another.

Another user shared a video of Turkish footballers brandishing pro-Palestine banners at weekend match. “This is unfortunate. This shows how serious we are towards the sufferings of innocent Palestinians. PCB really disappointed me. They should have learned something from Turkiye.”

Several others called for a boycott of the PSL.

This doesn’t bode well for the rest of the season.


Syed Hasni Feb 22, 2024 05:49pm
Sounds like , qarz ki piite thae mai lekin samajthe thae ki haan rang lavegi haamari faaqah-mastii ek din We used to drink wine on borrowed money, but we understood that yes, some day our cheerfulness in adversity will come to color
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M. Emad Feb 22, 2024 06:42pm
'Banner of Hope Silenced' ---- Pakistan banned pro-Palestine banners at 2024 Pakistan Super League (PSL cricket) games !!
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tahir Feb 22, 2024 06:43pm
I have already boycotted the PSL. Won't go to the stadium, won't see it on tv.
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Parbat Feb 22, 2024 06:52pm
What a shame, absolutely disgusting People should boycott the event
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M. Siddique Feb 22, 2024 07:12pm
It is starnge that of all countries, the Palestinian banners are banned in Pakistan. It is absolute shamefull gesture. Even, many Israeli Jews, who support Palestine, can carry those flags.
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Love Your Country Feb 22, 2024 10:17pm
Supporting PSL now onward is shameful following of the West.
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Shoaib Arif Feb 22, 2024 11:23pm
Recommend boycott psl. Our players don't perform at international matches anyway. Why waste money and time is we are not allowed to voice our opinions?
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Ron Feb 23, 2024 02:35am
Bycott PSL.. Simple..Emphty seats will teach them a lesson
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Anonymouseee Feb 23, 2024 04:09am
Indeed. Boycott PSL if they can’t stand with Palestine and against apartheid.
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Gly Mendon Feb 23, 2024 04:37am
If you allow all banners for all types of discrimination, wars, inside Pakistan there are so many wars going on between your political parties, tribes, terrorists, military etc, and everyone put brings banners and placards, then it won’t b a cricket but an ideological match. If two people bring banners of different opinions, that can lead to disruption and then what you do?
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Tahmad Feb 23, 2024 06:05am
I wish all issues of Middle East should have been resolved on table instead of war and hatred between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza territory. UN failed on it’s obligations for world peace.
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Arshad Khan Feb 23, 2024 09:03am
Don't give a bad name to a great fruit like Banana!
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Malik Feb 23, 2024 12:12pm
Boycott PSL
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Nasir Askar Feb 23, 2024 05:27pm
PSL or Palestine Strangulation League
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Babar Feb 23, 2024 06:27pm
Seems like money before morals!!! PSL/PCB, corrupt, run by corrupts, and only interested in making money, they do do want to offend international viewers. People in Pak should stop going to these matches, soon the PSL/PCB will take note.
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