Call for Arsenal to Drop Links With Rubber Firm

An online petition has been launched calling on English Premier League football club Arsenal to break its ties with a Vietnamese rubber company accused of land grabbing and deforestation in Cambodia. A report by London-based Glob­al Wit­ness this month named Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) as overseeing logging and rights abuses on 47,370 hectares of economic land concessions in Ratanakkiri province. The company, which has denied the allegations, is a local partner of the popular North London football club Arsenal. … HAGL co-sponsors a football academy in Vietnam with Arsenal football club with Arsenal football club and it is a sponsor of an upcoming tour of the country by the Arsenal team in July. … After the Global Witnesses report was released, HAGL’s share price on the Ho Chi Minh City stock Exchange dropped sharply before stabilizing slightly. … In the aftermath of the report, HAGL chairman Doan Nguyen Duc was quoted in the Vietnamese media as saying the firm had not left people impoverished since they have paid taxes and created jobs for 10,000 people.