Bundesliga club Mainz has suspended Dutch winger Anwar El Ghazi from training and matches following a controversial social media post related to the Israel-Gaza conflict. El Ghazi, who joined Mainz from PSV Eindhoven in September 2023, shared a post expressing support for Palestine on his Instagram story. The post has since been deleted.
The club’s decision was based on the content of the now-deleted post, which they deemed “unacceptable.” El Ghazi’s message reportedly contained the phrase “from the river to the sea,” which is viewed as potentially open to criminal prosecution in Germany and is considered by some to be antisemitic, as it implies the destruction of Israel.
Mainz 05 emphasized their respect for differing perspectives on the complex Middle East conflict, but they clarified that the content of El Ghazi’s social media post does not align with the club’s values. They stated that the decision to suspend El Ghazi came after extensive discussions with the player.
Anwar El Ghazi, who previously played for Aston Villa and Everton, signed a two-year contract with Mainz and has made three substitute appearances in the Bundesliga this season.