El Ghazi takes Mainz 05 to court for being sacked over pro-Palestine post

November 16 – Anwar El Ghazi, a Dutch international winger of Moroccan descent, is taking legal action against Bundesliga club Mainz 05 for wrongful dismissal over a pro-Palestine social media post.

El Ghazi is suing after the former Ajax and Aston Villa player had his contract terminated for posting his support for the Palestinian people amid the Israel-Gaza war. Mainz have confirmed that a court hearing is set to take place on December 6.

Mainz initially suspended El Ghazi in October, stating that he had taken an “unacceptable” stance on the war. They lifted his suspension after a few days and stated he would be available for selection again after being given a “warning” and showing “remorse”.

However, El Ghazi then wrote on social media that he did not “regret” or “distance himself” from what he said and that he stood for “humanity”.

Mainz subsequently responded that they “fail to understand and are surprised by Anwar El Ghazi’s statement on his social media channels relating to the club”.  His contract was terminated two days later.

One of Mainz’s founding members, and its first chairman, was Eugen Salomon – a Jewish man who was stripped of his club functions by the Nazis in 1933 before being killed in the Holocaust in 1942.

After Mainz’s decision to end his contract, El Ghazi was back on the offensive. “Stand for what is right, even if it means standing alone,” he wrote. “The loss of my livelihood is nothing when compared to the hell being unleashed on innocent and vulnerable in Gaza.”

His initial post, since deleted, contained the line ‘from the river to the sea’, which is potentially open to criminal prosecution in Germany as it is seen as incitement for the destruction of Israel.

But the player’s lawyer was quoted as saying: “I don’t see any statement in the latest post that is not covered by freedom of expression.”

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1721804270labto1721804270ofdlr1721804270owedi1721804270sni@w1721804270ahsra1721804270w.wer1721804270dna1721804270