The AFL has refused to run a series of advertisements at Adelaide Oval that call for donations to World Vision for humanitarian aid to Gaza.
Adelaide businessman Daniel Milky offered to pay for the advertising, which would have run at the Adelaide Crows’ next three home matches.
The advertisements were approved by Crows management, but knocked back by the league on the grounds they were political in nature.
“All of a sudden, it’s been dragged down this road of a political activist campaign, which it’s not,” Mr Milky said.
“It’s simply a humanitarian callout to get people to donate to help these poor children in that region.”
The ABC contacted the AFL, which said it would not run the advertisements “because they were taken to be political”.
The advertisement went through a number of drafts in an effort to have it approved by the AFL.
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon said that the first advertisement focused on the human rights of Palestinians, while reworked versions called for donations to World Vision to help the children of Palestine.
Senator Xenophon said another version of the advertisement had been submitted to the AFL, replacing “Palestine” for “Gaza”.
“It appears that too will be rejected by the AFL as they deem it too political,” Mr Xenophon said.
He said the league has misjudged the intent of the advertising.
“This doesn’t make sense. If a child is injured as a result of a tsunami or an earthquake, the AFL has run free campaigns to urge donations,” he said.
“Here we have a situation where someone’s willing to pay for an ad for kids injured as a result of a bomb attack, but that’s not good enough for the AFL.”
World Vision chief executive Tim Costello said he agreed with the league’s stance on political advertising, but believed this was purely humanitarian.
“It’s not political that the Australian Government has given $5 million for children in Gaza,” he said.
“This isn’t about picking sides, this is about picking over violence.”