Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says players’ views on Palestine should be respected, reports Al-Jazeera.
Football superstar Paul Pogba and his Manchester United team-mate Amad Diallo have held up a Palestinian flag following the English football team’s final home game of the season.
The duo’s public display of support for Palestine on Tuesday came as Israel continued its relentless bombardment of the Gaza Strip, which has killed at least 219 Palestinians, including 63 children, and wounded more than 1,500 people since it began on May 10. Twelve people in Israel have died, including two children, by rocket fire from Gaza, while at least 300 Israelis have been wounded.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said after the match: “We have players from different backgrounds, different cultures, different countries and we need to respect their views if they differ from someone else’s.”
He added: “If my players think about other things than football, that’s a positive thing.”
Thousands of protesters marched in support of Palestinians on Saturday in major European cities including London, Berlin, Madrid and Paris, as the worst violence in years raged between Israel and fighters in Gaza.
Leicester players Hamza Choudhury and Wesley Fofana showed support for Palestinians after Saturday’s 1-0 win against Chelsea in the FA Cup final.
English midfielder Choudhury and French defender Fofana were seen holding a Palestinian flag on the pitch at Wembley.
Other famous football players to have posted solidarity messages on social media for Palestinians in recent days include Fenerbahce’s Mesut Ozil, Inter Milan’s Achraf Hakimi, Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez, Schalke’s Shkodran Mustafi, Fiorentina’s Franck Ribery and Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny.
Meanwhile Reuters report that 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.”