FA bans offensive ‘from the river to the sea’ phrase from players’ social media

Israel vs Palestine flags

November 2 – The English Football Association is writing to all clubs banning the phrase ‘from the river to the sea’ following a pro-Palestinian post by Hamza Choudery who plays for Championship club Leicester City.

Choudhury will not be punished after apologising for the Instagram post, which has since been deleted, as the violent conflict between Israel and Hamas escalates.

The phrase – referencing the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea – is viewed by Jewish groups as a call to eradicate Israel. Others see it as meaning a West Bank free of Israeli occupation.

Choudery’s post was accompanied by an emoji of the Palestinian flag.

An FA spokesperson said: “After careful consideration, we will be writing to all clubs to make it clear that this phrase is considered offensive to many, and should not be used by players in social media posts.

“If this phrase is used again by a football participant, we will seek police guidance on how we should treat it and respond.”

Choudhury, a former England under-21 midfielder, said in a statement: “It was and is not my intention to cause offence to anyone but simply to show compassion for the innocent people that are suffering.

“I’m sorry for any offence this has caused. I share the hope of people around the world that a peaceful resolution can bring an end to the ongoing suffering of innocent people in this conflict.”

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