Bundesliga club Mainz have suspended forward Anwar El Ghazi over a social media post in relation to the war in Israel and Gaza.
The 28-year-old Netherlands international shared a post on his Instagram story that expressed support for Palestine.
El Ghazi took to Twitter on Thursday to clarify his original post, which has since been deleted, stating that he stood “for peace above everything” and calling for “more empathy” as “deepening our knowledge about the history of this conflict is vital”.
He has been relieved of his training and matchday duties as the stance he took on the war was deemed “unacceptable” by Mainz.
A club statement read: “FSV Mainz 05 have relieved Anwar El Ghazi of his training and matchday related duties.
“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.”
El Ghazi joined Mainz from PSV Eindhoven in September 2023 and signed a two-year contract with the club. The former Aston Villa man has made three substitute appearances in the Bundesliga this season.
Israel declared a state of war after Hamas launched an attack on the country on Saturday October 7.
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(Photo: Alex Grimm/Getty Images)