Mainz end Anwar El Ghazi’s contract over Gaza social posts

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German football club Mainz on Friday terminated the contract of Dutch forward Anwar El Ghazi following his social media posts about the Israel-Hamas war.

Mainz’s announcement comes two days after it lifted its previous suspension after disputing El Ghazi Club’s version of events. German news agency DPA reported Friday that prosecutors in the city of Koblenz are also investigating.

Mainz originally suspended El Ghazi in October. 17, said he posted and then deleted a message about the fight that the club deemed “unacceptable”.

On Monday, the club said his suspension had been lifted and he would be reinstated. Mainz said conversations with management followed up and that El Ghazi “regrets publishing the post and regrets the negative impact it has had.” The club added that the player “also stated that he does not question Israel’s right to exist.”

However, in another social media post on Wednesday, El Ghazi indicated that the club had issued his statement without his permission.

“I do not regret or regret my position,” the player wrote. “I do not distance myself from what I have said and I stand today and always till my last breath, for humanity and the oppressed.”

El Ghazi, 28, who previously played for PSV Eindhoven, Aston Villa and Everton, joined Mainz as a free agent in September. He made three appearances as a substitute for the team, the last in the Bundesliga.

In response to Mainz canceling his contract on Friday, El Ghazi posted: “The loss of my livelihood is nothing compared to the hell unleashed on the innocent and vulnerable in Gaza.”

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