Mainz Terminates Anwar El Ghazi’s Contract Amid Social Media Controversy
Mainz Parts Ways with Anwar El Ghazi Over Social Media Controversy
Bundesliga club Mainz terminated the contract of footballer Anwar El Ghazi on Friday. This decision came shortly after German prosecutors initiated an investigation into his social media posts related to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Mainz announced their decision on Twitter, stating that they were “ending the contractual relationship with Anwar El Ghazi and terminated the player with immediate effect.”
In an official statement, Mainz further clarified that they took this action in response to the player’s statements and posts on social media.
Earlier on the same day, German prosecutors had raised concerns about the Dutch footballer, suspecting him of “disturbing public peace by condoning criminal acts in conjunction with incitement to hatred” due to his messages on Instagram.
El Ghazi had shared various social media posts during the early stages of the conflict, including one that featured the phrase “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” This slogan has different interpretations, with some seeing it as a call for the destruction of Israel and others interpreting it as a call for equality between Israelis and Palestinians.
Mainz had initially suspended El Ghazi on October 17 following the controversial post, but they later indicated that the player could return after he had “explicitly distanced himself” from the statements. However, El Ghazi reaffirmed his position on social media, stating, “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 authorized by me.”
Mainz expressed surprise and incomprehension in response to El Ghazi’s latest statement and announced their intention to “examine the matter legally and then evaluate it.”
Anwar El Ghazi had joined Mainz on September 22 but had only played a total of 51 minutes in three matches for the club.
The Israel-Hamas conflict in the Gaza Strip began with a major retaliatory assault by Israel against Hamas rulers after an attack on October 7, which Israeli officials claim resulted in the deaths of approximately 1,400 people, primarily civilians.