Mainz lifts Anwar El Ghazi's suspension after pro-Palestine post

Anwar El Ghazi will RETURN to training at Mainz two weeks after he was suspended for a pro-Palestine social media post… with the club warning players they are ‘bound to a code of values’

  • El Ghazi was handed a suspension by the Bundesliga side on October 17 
  • The club’s stadium is named after one of its founding members, who was Jewish 
  • Player joined the club as a free agent this summer and is contracted until 2025 

Anwar El Ghazi will return to training with Mainz after the Bundesliga club suspended the player two weeks ago for posting a pro-Palestine message on his social media. 

The Netherlands international deleted the post, but Mainz meted out a suspension nonetheless on October 17 that saw him sidelined from both matchdays and training. 

Alongside the measure, Mainz shared a statement that said 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.’ 

Anwar El Ghazi has had his suspension lifted by Mainz after sharing a seemingly pro-Palestine post two weeks ago

The player shared the post but was quick to delete it after discussion with Bundesliga club

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But despite speculation last week that the club were looking to terminate his contract just months after signing the free agent, the German side are keen to welcome El Ghazi back into the fold. 

‘Given his commitment to upholding the club’s values and the remorse shown, and in keeping with the club’s culture of using mistakes as an opportunity to learn, Anwar El Ghazi will return to training and matchday-related activities with 1. FSV Mainz 05 soon,’ a statement from the club read. 

As per BBC Sport, El Ghazi has returned to his home country, and it is not yet clear when he plans to return. 

Mainz’s statement detailed how the club believes it has a ‘special responsibility to the state of Israel and the Jewish people’, in part in a nod to their club’s heritage. 

One of Mainz’s founding members Eugen Salomon was Jewish, and stripped of his role in the club in 1933 as the Nazi government began the Aryanization of the sporting industry. 

Salomon was later murdered in the Holocaust, and the club’s stadium is named in his memory. 

‘El Ghazi has since distanced himself from his post on his Instagram account, which he deleted minutes later, in multiple conversations with the club,’ the statement continued. ‘He regrets publishing the post and was remorseful about its negative impact, especially on the club as a whole.

‘The club’s board made it clear to Anwar El Ghazi that employees of the club are bound to a code of values. Implicit in this code of values is a special responsibility to the state of Israel and the Jewish people, not only due to past events in German history, but also stemming from the shared history with one of FSV’s founding members and member of the Jewish community, Eugen Salomon.’

Breaking his silence last week, El Ghazi apologised for his earlier statements being ‘misunderstood’ as he sought to share a message condemning the killing of civilians. 

El Ghazi wrote: ‘I condemn the killing of all innocent civilians in Palestine and Israel.

‘My sympathies are with the innocent victims of this conflict irrespective of their nationality. I am committed to a peaceful and integrated Middle East region.

The player previously featured for PSV Eindhoven, joining Mainz as a free agent this summer

‘To the extent my previous statements on social media have been misunderstood, I would like to make clear that I stand for peace and humanity for all.’

In the wake of El Ghazi’s suspension, club representatives met with General Consul of Israel for South Germany Talya Lador-Fresher.

El Ghazi is one of only a handful of football players that has broken their silence amidst roiling conflict between Israel and Hamas in the region. 

In Germany, Bayern Munich opted not to sanction Noussair Mazraoui after the right-back shared pro-Palestine posts on social media. 


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