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Australian Football League ends sponsorship from anti-gay Brunei

Australian Football League ends sponsorship from anti-gay Brunei

The Australian Football League (AFL) has ended sponsorship from Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) due to the country’s stone the gays law.

AFL Europe, the sport’s governing body on the continent, touted the 12-month deal with the state-owned airline as its ‘biggest ever sponsorship’ when it was announced in July.

Under its first major sports sponsorship deal, RBA flew players between Melbourne and London while the AFL promoted the airline in Australia and 22 European countries.

The legaue previously said it was unaware that the Southeast Asian country had passed a law in April that, when it comes into effect in 2015, will punish gay sex with death by stoning.

AFL said in a statement, ‘These laws are counter to everything the AFL stands for in regards to inclusion and diversity.

‘We have decided that the sponsorship deal will be terminated possibly within days, at most within a few weeks.’

Members of LGBTI rights group All Out bombarbed AFL’s Twitter account with 1,300 tweets and more than 34,000 signed a petition calling for the deal to be dropped.

Andre Banks, co-founder and executive director of All Out, said, ‘We applaud the Australian Football League (AFL) for this courageous move.

‘This is a game changer in the push against Brunei’s proposal to mandate inhuman punishments like stoning, whipping and amputation for being gay and other offences. The AFL has taken a strong stand against homophobia that shows the sultan of Brunei that killing people because of who they are is not only wrong – it’s very bad for business.’