English football body bans Pro-Palestine 'river to the sea' phrase on social media

FA statement comes after Leicester City midfielder deletes phrase from social media post

Yunus Kaymaz  | 02.11.2023 - Update : 02.11.2023
English football body bans Pro-Palestine 'river to the sea' phrase on social media


Footballers in England may face legal action for using the Pro-Palestine phrase, "River to the sea," on social media, according to the country's football body (FA) on Wednesday. 

"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," said an FA spokesperson, who does not want to be identified.

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

The FA statement came after a social media post from Hamza Choudhury. The Leicester City midfielder deleted the “river to the sea” phrase on X.

Choudhury, 26, apologized Monday.

"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," said the former England Under-21 midfielder.

"From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free," is a Palestinian slogan that refers to the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, which includes Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army has expanded its air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip, which has been under relentless airstrikes since a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7.

More than 10,300 people have since been killed in the conflict, including at least 8,796 Palestinians and more than 1,538 Israelis.

Besides the large number of casualties and displacement, basic supplies are running low for the 2.3 million residents in Gaza due to the Israeli siege.

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