Anwar El Ghazi is taking legal action against former club Mainz for wrongful dismissal over a social media post about the Israel-Gaza war.
Mainz have confirmed that a trial is set to take place on December 6.
The Bundesliga side terminated the 28-year-old winger’s contract on November 3 in the aftermath of a post on his Instagram story that expressed support for Palestinians.
Mainz initially suspended El Ghazi in October, stating that the Netherlands international 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 said in a short post on X (formerly Twitter) that they “fail to understand and are surprised by Anwar El Ghazi’s statement on his social media channels relating to the club”. The club terminated his contract two days later.
After Mainz’s decision, El Ghazi said on social media: “Stand for what is right, even if it means standing alone.”
His initial post, which has since been 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. The American Jewish Committee defines the phrase as antisemitic as it calls for the elimination of the Jewish state.
El Ghazi later attempted to clarify this post, stating he said he stood “for peace above everything” and called for “more empathy” as “deepening our knowledge about the history of this conflict is vital”.
El Ghazi joined Mainz from PSV in September 2023 and signed a two-year contract with the club. The former Aston Villa man made three substitute appearances in the Bundesliga before his departure.
(Photo: Alex Grimm/Getty Images)