GERMAN Bundesliga club Mainz are “surprised and are in a state of incomprehension” as sanctioned Anwar El Ghazi on Wednesday called out that he does “not regret” statements he made on the Israel-Hamas war.
The club who had suspended the Dutch international for a number of social media posts related to the conflict, stated on Monday that the player could return “soon” after he “explicitly distanced himself” from the statements.
El Ghazi, however, took to social media on Wednesday, saying “I do not regret or have any remorse for my position.”
“Any other statements, comments or apologies to the contrary attributed to me are not factually correct and have not been made or authorised by me.”
Mainz responded to El Ghazi’s posts on Wednesday, also on social media, saying the club would “examine the matter legally and then evaluate it.”
El Ghazi was suspended on 17 October for taking a “position on the conflict in the Middle East in a manner that wasn’t tolerable for the club“, Mainz said in a previous statement.
He had shared several posts on social media early in the conflict, including the phrase “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”.
The slogan is seen by some as a call for the destruction of Israel, while others say it appeals for equality for Palestinians and Israelis.
Mainz said Wednesday that El Ghazi had “called in sick on Monday and was currently not in training.”
Israeli forces have escalated their relentless bombardment of the Gaza Strip in response to the Hamas attacks on 7 October. Tragically, the health ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza reports that the death toll has risen to at least 8,796 people, mainly civilians, due to Israeli air and ground strikes.