German football club Mainz decided to terminate its contract with its Dutch player of Moroccan origin, Anwar El Ghazi, after he expressed his solidarity with the Palestinian people as a result of the ongoing Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip, which has left thousands dead to date, after a bloody attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7.
On Friday, November 3, Mainz club said in a statement that it “terminates the contractual relationship with Anwar El Ghazi with immediate effect today, Friday.” The club is taking this action in response to the player’s statements and posts on social media.”
Media outlets reported that the club announced that the player’s contract had been terminated immediately, after El Ghazi denied a statement issued by Mainz in which it confirmed the player’s retraction from positions he announced in tweets, through which the administration considered that he had taken “a position on the conflict in the Middle East in a way that is unacceptable to the club.”
Mainz had stated on Monday that it had lifted the suspension and that it would give the player a second chance after he apologized for his solidarity with Palestine, but El Ghazi said in another post on Wednesday that “the comments or apologies attributed to me are not factually correct, and I did not declare them nor agreed to them.”
He added, “I do not regret and do not feel any remorse. I do not distance myself from what I said, and I stand today, and always will, and until the end of my life, with humanity and the oppressed.”
In response to the club’s recent decision, Ghazi said that it was “nothing compared to the hell that innocent people are going through in Gaza.”
About 1,400 people have been killed in Israel since the beginning of the war, most of them civilians, and most of them on the first day of the Hamas attack, according to Israeli authorities. Nearly 9,500 Palestinians, most of them children and women, have been killed since October 7 as a result of the Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip, according to Hamas health authorities.
El Ghazi added in a post on X “Stand with the truth, even if you stood alone. Losing my source of livelihood is nothing compared to the hell that innocent and vulnerable people are going through in Gaza. Stop the killing.”
El Ghazi had recently published a statement on his official accounts in support of the Palestinian cause and denouncing what is happening in Gaza in terms of cutting off water, electricity, and food to the people. Then his German club investigated him, and the player refused to apologize. Mainz then went on and terminated the contract.