Campaigners issue fresh call for Liverpool FC to drop controversial sponsor
Campaigners are renewing efforts to get Liverpool FC to drop their partnership with Chinese firm Tibet Water.
International consumer group SumOfUs and Several Tibet organisations are working to convince the club to sever ties with the water company.
They said the deal, announced last summer, “legitimises the torture of Tibetans”.
This Sunday (February 4), ahead of the Reds’ clash with Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield, a mobile billboard will drive the streets of Liverpool as it targets club owner John W. Henry with the message:
“Under Chinese rule, Tibetans are beaten and tortured for their beliefs. John W. Henry: Your deal with Tibet Water legitimises the torture of Tibetans. Liverpool FC: Do we think this is okay?“
Individuals representing the campaign groups, meanwhile, will hand out information to supporters before the game.
SumOfUs senior campaigner Sondhya Gupta said: “The warm welcome we received from fans on the streets of Liverpool who were clearly concerned about their club’s agreement with Tibet Water makes it quite clear that club bosses need to think again about this deal.
“As football clubs like Liverpool FC enjoy ever increasing commercial success it is vital that they consider the social and environmental impacts of the companies they enter into partnerships with.”
Sondhya added: “Deals such as this simply serve to normalise the brutal repression of the Tibetan people.”
Chodak Hunter, the communications manager for Tibetan Community UK North, one of the groups behind the drive, commented: “The Tibetan community in the UK have been vocal in our opposition to this deal since it was first announced last year.
“Among the community are Tibetans who have had to flee from China’s violent occupation, while others were born and have grown up in the UK and have never been able to visit Tibet.
Chodak continued: “One way or another, we all continue to be affected by the occupation, and it is heartbreaking to see it being normalised through deals that reward Chinese companies exploiting Tibet’s resources.
“Among the Tibetan community in the UK are Liverpool fans, who want the best for their club, while all of us are Tibet supporters, who want the best for our country. If Liverpool FC’s directors would listen to us, they would surely agree that ending this deal would be the best of both worlds.”