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SBD Global/August 7, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Australian Football League Under Fire For Gaza Ad Campaign Ban At Adelaide Oval

The Australian Football League "has been accused of censorship and heavy-handedness for stepping in to ban a planned advertising campaign at the Adelaide Oval supporting Gaza," according to Baum & Nicholson of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Adelaide businessman Daniel Milky approached the Adelaide Football Club last week to run paid fence ads at the Crows' last three home games with the text "Save Palestine, Save Gaza," and pointing to a website run by the Australian Friends of Palestine Association. The Crows "approved the ad, but last Friday were overruled by the AFL." An AFL spokesperson said on Wednesday, "The AFL, as a sporting organization, does not accept advertisements around our games from any political arena, be that state politics, federal politics or international politics. It was our view that the request for advertising was not suitable under the guidelines we provide to clubs, and it has been refused on this basis." World Vision's Tim Costello "led the chorus of disapproval of the AFL, saying the proposed ads were humanitarian, not political." Costello said, "This isn't about picking sides, this is about picking over violence." Independent Senator Nick Xenophon spoke with AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan, "but was not mollified." Xenophon: "It's not about politics, it’s about humanity" (SMH, 8/6).
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