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15th May 2021

Leicester duo unveil Palestine flag during FA Cup final celebrations

Leicester City won the FA Cup in dramatic circumstances on Saturday evening, before Hamza Choudhury and Wesley Fofana showed their solidarity with Palestine

Reuben Pinder


Leicester won the game in dramatic circumstances

Leicester City duo Hamza Choudhry and Wesley Fofana unveiled a Palestine flag during their FA Cup final victory celebrations in a demonstration of solidarity with the Palestinian people caught in the middle of the ongoing conflict with Israel.

Leicester secured their first ever FA Cup victory thanks to a goal from Youri Tielemans and a late VAR call that ruled former Leicester man Ben Chilwell offside in the build up to a late equaliser.

The celebrations when Tielemans’ long range shot flew past Kepa Arrizabalaga were a reminder of just what we’ve missed over the past year without fans in the stadium. And the roar at full-time will have brought a wave of joy to countless neutrals watching.

As is very common during title celebrations, players of the victorious side brought out flags of their home nations to wear during the trophy lift. And as the Foxes did their customary lap of honour, Choudhry and Fofana – both Muslim – were seen holding a Palestine flag aloft.

The gesture from the Leicester pair comes not long after it was reported that Arsenal are holding talks with sponsor, the Lavazza Group, after midfielder Mohamed Elneny showed his support for Palestine in a post shared on Twitter.

This week has seen the conflict between Israel and Palestine intensify, with dozens killed in a matter of days.

Elneny, who is from neighbouring Egypt, tweeted: “My heart and my soul and my support for you Palestine,” accompanying his message with a series of images.

One of the images featured the words ‘Palestinian Lives Matter’ and, as highlighted by The Mirror, has prompted an angry backlash from some of Arsenal’s Jewish supporters.

The report also says that Tal Ofer, part of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, approached the club’s sponsor and requested a response.

The Lavazza Group have since released a statement indicating they were to hold immediate talks with Arsenal.

“We’ll immediately reach out to Arsenal to remark we are concerned about the club associated with such a message,” the statement said. “Content of this post is totally not aligned with our company values. Lavazza Group is fully committed against racism and antisemitism.”

Ofer, who is also said to have approached adidas for a comment, is quoted as saying it was “sad that Arsenal did not want to deal with this more seriously, I would expect better from them than this.”

In a statement given to the JC, Arsenal explained that they would be speaking to Elneny about the post, while also making it clear that all of the club’s employees are entitled to express their views.

“As with any employees of Arsenal, our players are entitled to express their views on their own platforms,” the club said.

“That said, we are speaking to Mo about this so he understands the wider implications of his post.

“As a club we are committed to confronting and eliminating all forms of discrimination and continue to champion the need for equality and diversity across all areas of life.”

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