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Jersey controversy: Paris Saint Germain threaten singer MIA

PSG asks British singer not to wear French club's football jersey in a video featuring refugees getting into Europe

Paris: Paris Saint Germain football club has demanded British singer Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam, better known by her stage name MIA, remove images of its PSG jersey from her "Borders" music video which features refugees trying to get to Europe.

Mathangi
Mathangi

The singer on Monday published a copy of a legal letter she received from PSG's deputy chief executive Jean-Claude Blanc demanding she remove the images and compensate the Qatar-owned French league leaders for "harm suffered."

"So there's the case MIA vs PSG - discuss...", MIA wrote on her Twitter account. The letter says PSG had an "unpleasant surprise" when MIA twice appeared in her latest music video wearing a jersey in which the PSG logo is clearly visible, as well as those of sponsors Nike and the Qatari National Bank.

War and poverty
The slogan "Fly Emirates" has been changed to "Fly Pirates". The video of "Borders" shows images of migrants climbing fences and packed into boats in a commentary on the recent influx of people into Europe fleeing war and poverty.

"Borders, what's up with that? Politics, what's up with that? Police shots, what's up with that?" sings the British-Sri Lankan rapper. "More than being surprised, we simply do not understand why we are associated, through our logo and the official jersey of our team's players, to such denunciation," reads the legal letter.

The letter lists social actions taken by the PSG Foundation such as helping poor and sick children and the donation of one million euros (R7.4 crore approximately) to French charities "in the context of the refugee crisis."

The club has accused MIA of causing harm to their brand and gave the singer 24 hours to withdraw the video, stop using the PSG brand and compensate the club.

Not the first time
MIA responded with an image of herself in the jersey and the hashtag #MIAvsPSG. "Me and sports — it's a love hate thing," wrote the singer who last year was sued by the US National Football League for $16.6 million (R111 crore approximately) after she extended her middle finger during a performance with Madonna at the 2014 Super Bowl. ESPN later reported the singer and the NFL had reached a confidential settlement.

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