Manchester, England – Paul Pogba and Manchester United teammate Amad Diallo held up a Palestine flag on the Old Trafford pitch after Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against Fulham.
Pogba appeared to be given the flag by a fan as the players made their way around the pitch during the traditional lap of honor after their last home game of the Premier League season.
French World Cup winner Pogba and Ivorian winger Diallo, both Muslim, displayed the flag in support of Palestine, with around 10,000 fans watching on after coronavirus restrictions were lifted.
The ongoing hostilities between Israel and Hamas Islamists who rule Gaza are the most serious in years and there have been no firm signs of any imminent ceasefire despite international calls to end more than a week of fighting.
Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury and Wesley Fofana had also held up a Palestine flag after the F.A. Cup final on Saturday and United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said his players had a right to their own views.
“I think we need to have players from different backgrounds, different cultures, different countries, and I think we need to respect their views if they differ from someone else’s,” Solskjaer told reporters.
“If my players think about other things than football that’s a positive thing and I think we’ve seen that with some of the players before that they do care about.
“Say Marcus Rashford, for example, the difference he’s made. We respect their right to have a different view.”
Dutch side PSV Eindhoven’s Israeli forward Eran Zahavi responded to Pogba and Diallo by posting an edited picture of the pair on Instagram, replacing the Palestine flag they were carrying with an Israel one.
“Thanks guys,” Zahavi wrote in a caption that included an Israel flag. “We appreciate your support all over the world.”
A social media post from Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny showing his support for the Palestinian people was hit by a backlash from Jewish fans.
The Egyptian posted on his Twitter account: “My heart and my soul and my support for you Palestine.”
Arsenal confirmed to Sky Sports that they have spoken with Elneny after concerns about the post were raised from one of the club’s sponsors, coffee maker Lavazza.
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