The World currently faces a major issue regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict. Several soccer matches around the globe have seen fans attend the stadium with a Palestinian flag or the ‘Free Palestine’ slogan. Even though some leagues have strictly banned this to avoid any controversies.
A few days back on 31st October, an Instagram post garnered a lot of attention accumulating over 1800 likes in 3 days. The post was a screenshot from Lionel Messi’s Instagram which showed the Argentine holding the Israeli flag with a caption reading “Proving yet again that he is the GOAT”
Claims that Lionel Messi expressed his support for Israel by carrying the Israeli flag are not true.
The screenshot that was disseminated by users of social media was found to have been altered. The social media accounts of the Argentine football player did not contain any such… pic.twitter.com/391IQ5ToBA
— Dezenformasyonla Mücadele Merkezi (@dmmiletisim) November 3, 2023
Fans were extremely confused and later realized that the photo was indeed a fake and was photoshopped from another image where Messi is seen holding a sign promoting a sports memorabilia website that has an exclusive contract to sell signed Messi merchandise.
Fans were quick to judge the photo being a fake after scrolling through Messi’s official Instagram page which showed the original image. It seems unlikely that any player would even post anything that would support either side engaged in the war in these tumultuous times.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s false images showing support for Palestine
Cristiano Ronaldo was also the victim of false imagery as a video was leaked that showed Ronaldo showing support for the children who have been affected by the war. However, some research later revealed that the video was indeed a fake.
Stan twitter still tryna beef Ronaldo even tho he the only celeb to support Palestine unlike their dopey celebs pic.twitter.com/Os5PwNdOti
— FP (@futbolphanatics) November 3, 2023
The video is originally from 2016 where Ronaldo was showing support to the children in Syria. The video was also shared on Ronaldo’s official Twitter account as well. But the editing did not stop there as several images have popped up showing Ronaldo’s support for Palestine.
One image showed that Ronaldo refused to shake the hand of the Israeli president after a cup final during his time at Juventus while in reality, Ronaldo was disappointed to receive the runners-up medal and the person was not even Israel’s president.
A picture of Ronaldo was also edited where he is seen holding a placard with the words “I love Gaza and You?” and “Todos Con Palestine,” translating to “Everyone with Palestine” in Spanish.
These images were later proved to be fake as in the original image Ronaldo is holding a placard with “Todos Con lorca” written on it to show solidarity and support after the massive earthquake that took place in Lorca in 2011.
Support for Palestine slogan gets former Aston Villa player fired
With all that is going on, some brave individuals have been very vocal about their support of Palestine. One of them is Mainz player Anwar El Ghazi. But due to his comments on the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Bundesliga club has terminated his contract after several warnings.
“Stand for what is right, even if it means standing alone,”.“The loss of my livelihood is nothing when compared to the hell being unleashed on the innocent and vulnerable in Gaza,” The Dutch player said after his contract got terminated.
We all stand with El Ghazi, Mainz are a disgusting club and hope they get relegated. pic.twitter.com/sQxKghpORY
— Mod (@CFCMod_) November 3, 2023
The former Aston Villa player went on social media and said the club had stated without his permission after his primary warning. German prosecutors also accused the player of disturbing public peace.
El Ghazi was an important player of Mainz and even had an assist in the last match but the immediate termination of the player shows how much the club wants to distance itself from any sort of controversies.