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Premiership stars show support for Palestine

18th Jun 2021
Premiership stars show support for Palestine

Paul Pogba,  Riyad Mahrez, Eric Cantona and Mohamed ElNen(Credit: WikiCommons)

Elham Asaad Buaras

Former and current premiership stars have shown support for besieged Palestinians on and off the football pitch last month.

248 Palestinians including 66 children were killed and more than 1,900 injured during the 11-day Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, which ended on May 21.

Arsenal bosses defended midfielder Mohamed ElNeny after he tweeted his support for Palestinians. The Egyptian-born player, who has more than 4.8 million followers on Twitter, posted: ‘My heart my soul, my support for you Palestine’ on May 10.

The post, which had by May 28 received over 123,900 ‘likes’ and over 34,600 retweets prompted complaints to Arsenal FC by Jewish fans.

However, in a statement to the Jewish Chronicle, Arsenal said the midfielder was “entitled to express (his) views” but added they would be “speaking to Mo” about the post so he “understands the wider implications”.

On May 15, French football legend Eric Cantona supported a relief campaign launched for Gazans. Ex-Manchester United forward Cantona, 54, put his photo on Instagram as he has worn a ‘Hoping for Palestine’ t-shirt, which was designed for an NGO, Hoping Foundation.

“Hoping is raising funds for Palestinian Medical Relief society’s emergency response in Gaza,” Cantona said. In his photo, Cantona posed alongside his wife Rachida Brakni, 44-year-old French actress who too had on the same t-shirt.

On May 23 Manchester City’s winger, Riyad Mahrez become the latest footballer to carry a Palestine flag on the pitch. Mahrez – one of the standout players in a season which came to an end – waved the flag at the Etihad following City’s 5-0 thrashing of Everton at the Etihad Stadium.

The Algerian international, who gave his support to those affected in the region posting #SaveSheikhJarrah on his Twitter account, was celebrating City’s title win when he carried the Palestinian flag.

Mahrez follows several players who have shown their support for Palestine following a high-profile match.
Leicester City’s England Under-21 international Hamza Choudhury and French Under-21 defender Wesley Fofana held a Palestinian flag aloft following their side’s FA Cup win over Chelsea on May 15.

This was followed by Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Ivory Coast international Amad Diallo doing the same after their side’s final fixture at Old Trafford this season, a 1-1 draw with Fulham. Pogba also showed support for the Palestinian people in a post on social media.

‘The world needs peace and love. It will soon be Eid. Let us all love one another. #PRAYFORPALESTINE,’ Pogba posted on Instagram. Pogba, who is a Muslim convert also tweeted ‘My heart with you Masjid Al Aqsa’ on May 10.

 

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

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