Anwar El Ghazi suspended by Mainz for ‘unacceptable’ post on Israel-Hamas conflict

Former Aston Villa and Everton forward Anwar El Ghazi suspended for social media post about Israel-Hamas conflict

Wednesday 18 October 2023 08:48 BST
Anwar El Ghazi suspended by Mainz for post about Israel-Hamas conflict
Anwar El Ghazi suspended by Mainz for post about Israel-Hamas conflict (AFP via Getty Images)

Dutch forward Anwar El Ghazi was suspended by Mainz 05 on Tuesday for a social media post about the Israel-Hamas conflict that the Bundesliga club felt was “unacceptable”.

El Ghazi, who joined Mainz in September, has since deleted the post.

Hamas fighters killed 1,300 Israelis on Oct. 7 in the deadliest Palestinian militant attack in Israel’s history while Israel responded with intensive air strikes that have killed more than 2,800 Palestinians.

“FSV Mainz 05 have relieved Anwar El Ghazi of his training and matchday-related duties,” the club announced on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“The decision comes as a result of a since-deleted social media post from the 28-year-old that appeared on Sunday evening. In the post, El Ghazi took a position on the ongoing conflict in the Middle East that was deemed unacceptable by the club.

“Prior to making this decision, the club and the player had engaged in an in-depth discussion. Mainz 05 respect the fact that there are varying perspectives on the decades-long, complex conflict in the Middle East.

“However, the club are distancing themselves from the content of the social media post in question, as it does not align with the values of the club.”

The club did not provide further details about what El Ghazi had written in the deleted post.

Former Aston Villa winger El Ghazi wrote in a separate post on X on Thursday that he had “received some negative messages around my social media posts”.

“I want to make clear that I’m standing for peace above everything,” the 28-year-old said. He also called for “more empathy, deepening our knowledge about the history of this conflict.”

Mainz are 17th and second to last in the Bundesliga with two points after seven matches.

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