Mainz part ways with El Ghazi: An end with a political bang!

Published On: 06.November.2023Categories: Legal, Working world2 min read
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Nora Wölflick writes about interesting, topical issues for the Love & Law Blog at Recht 24/7.

Shockwave in the Bundesliga!

FSV Mainz 05 is making headlines that go far beyond football: Anwar El Ghazi is no longer in the Mainz squad. The reason? A political statement that is making waves.

From mercy to dismissal

After El Ghazi shared pro-Palestinian posts on social media, Mainz initially gave him a second chance. But the footballer stood by his opinion – a no-go for the club, which then pulled the ripcord and sacked El Ghazi without notice.

El Ghazi’s controversial statement

El Ghazi drew the ire of many with a message that briefly appeared on Instagram and was then deleted again. “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” – a statement that can be seen as a rejection of Israel’s right to exist in the context of the Middle East conflict. Too explosive for Mainz to remain without consequences.

Investigation initiated

The public prosecutor’s office in Koblenz is now scrutinising the case. The suspicion: disturbing the public peace and possibly even incitement to hatred. El Ghazi is now not only offside in sporting terms, but also legally.

A proud sportsman stays true to his line

El Ghazi did not miss the opportunity to make it clear that he stands behind his statements. “For humanity and on the side of the oppressed” – that’s how the Dutchman sees himself. For Mainz 05, however, this is an unacceptable risk.

What this means for Mainz

Christian Heidel, the sporting director, is keeping a low profile and emphasising the gravity and uniqueness of the situation. This is no longer a sporting issue, but a political and legal matter that the club now wants to put behind it.

Looking ahead

The Rheinhessen must now plan without El Ghazi. A rollercoaster of emotions for the fans, a wake-up call for the players: politics has its place, but perhaps not on the pitch. Mainz 05 opens a new chapter – and hopes for calmer times.

Mainz 05 and Anwar El Ghazi are going their separate ways. A football club finds itself at the centre of political discussions and shows that clear lines can also be drawn in sport.

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