German soccer club Mainz suspends player for 'unacceptable' social media post about Israel-Hamas war

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Bundesliga soccer club Mainz has suspended Dutch forward Anwar El Ghazi for what it called an “unacceptable” social media post about the Israel-Hamas war.

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The club said on its website that it has “relieved Anwar El Ghazi of his training and matchday related duties” because of a post he shared Sunday that he since deleted. It does not say what the post contained, nor whether the player will return to play for the club.

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Mainz spokesperson Silke Bannick declined Wednesday to give further details, saying only that El Ghazi was “released from training and matchday activities. Please understand that we will not comment further beyond the official statement.”

On its website, Mainz said: “In the post, El Ghazi stated an opinion 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.”

The 28-year-old El Ghazi, who previously played for PSV Eindhoven, Aston Villa and Everton, joined Mainz last month. He has made three appearances as a substitute for the team.

In France, Youcef Atal was suspended by Nice after he shared an antisemitic message on social media. The French club said in a statement that it had discussed the issue with Atal and that he apologized.

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Originally posted 2023-10-18 17:21:18.