NOS Football•today, 1:41 PM
The controversy in Germany surrounding footballers Anwar El Ghazi and Noussair Mazraoui is not over yet. El Ghazi publicly distanced himself from a statement from his club Mainz on Wednesday, while a former politician has filed a complaint against Bayern Munich defender Mazraoui.
On Monday, Mainz announced that El Ghazi would soon return to the selection. The attacker was suspended because he posted the sentence on social media “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” had written. A slogan that is interpreted by some as anti-Semitic.
According to Mainz, El Ghazi had shown remorse in various conversations with the board and had emphatically distanced himself from terrorism. The player now claims that that statement was made without his knowledge. “My statement on October 27 is my only and final statement to FSV Mainz 05 and in public.”
Mainz reports in a response that it was “surprised” and “incomprehensible” to have learned of El Ghazi’s message. The club announces that it is “investigating the facts from a legal point of view”. El Ghazi called in sick on Monday and has not trained since.
In his statement on October 27, El Ghazi wrote, among other things, that “my previous statements on social media have been misunderstood. I condemn the murders of all innocent civilians in Palestine and Israel. My sympathy lies with the innocent victims of this conflict, regardless of their nationality .”
Also in his Instagram post today, the 28-year-old attacker emphasizes that he is against war, violence, murders of innocent civilians, discrimination, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, genocide, apartheid, occupation and oppression. The former player for Ajax and PSV, among others, says he has no regrets about his previous messages.
El Ghazi also draws attention to the more than 3,000 children who, according to the United Nations and aid organization Save the Children, have died in the Gaza Strip in the past three weeks. “How can we as a world remain silent when a child is murdered in Gaza every ten minutes?” El Ghazi asks. “That’s nine children dead during a football match. And the number continues to rise every day.”
Due to his disciplinary suspension, the two-time Dutch international missed the last two matches against Mainz. Since his transfer-free transfer from PSV, El Ghazi has only played three games for the bottom of the Bundesliga.
The German newspaper Bild reports that former politician Volker Beck has filed a complaint against Mazraoui. The Bayern defender had taken to his social media to wish the Palestinians victory in the conflict with Israel.
The 62-year-old Beck served for 23 years on behalf of Die Grünen in the Bundestag, the German parliament, and is director of the German-Israeli company and the Tivkah Institute, which fights anti-Semitism.
“Mazraoui’s statement can only be interpreted as an expression of support for Hamas,” Beck said. “Condoning crimes against humanity is punishable.”
The 25-year-old former Ajax player Mazraoui, who plays internationally for Morocco, had to report to the Bayern board after his message. After he assured the club management that he denounced “any form of terrorism and any terrorist organization”, it was decided not to punish him. Mazraoui did not distance himself from his earlier message.