Football Association (FA) officials will inform English clubs that players are to avoid a specific phrase on social media. The expression, “from river to the sea,” is a common phrase to support Palestinian nationalism. Not only has the FA banned the use of the phrase, but the organization also declared that they will “seek police guidance” if a player posts the expression that supports Palestine in the future.

The move by the governing body of the sport comes after Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury posted the phrase on X. The 26-year-old versatile midfielder has since deleted the post and issued a statement on the situation. “It was and is not my intention to cause offense to anyone but simply to show compassion for the innocent people that are suffering,” wrote Choudhury.

Leicester City also made an official statement on the situation as well. The club claimed that they met with Choudhury and explained how some may take offense to the phrase.

“We have discussed the matter with Hamza, and shared our concern that views expressed in this manner – without sufficient context on a deeply nuanced and sensitive topic – are open to misinterpretation which risks unintentional offense,” stated the club.

Governing body ‘strongly encourages’ players to avoid phrase

Nevertheless, the FA is banning professional soccer players in England from using the phrase. “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,” read a statement by the FA.

“The player has apologized and deleted the tweet. We are strongly encouraging clubs to ensure that players do not post content which may be offensive or inflammatory to any community.”

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

Player favoring Palestine avoids penalty as clubs waited for FA guidance

The statement by the FA comes as English clubs have become frustrated with a lack of guidance regarding the situation. Mail Sport previously claimed earlier in the week the FA’s relative silence annoyed teams in the English pyramid. These English clubs also felt that they needed official advice on how to handle similar situations.

According to the report, clubs held private meetings with their players to discuss avoided social media posts on the topic. These teams informed their players that they should avoid potential penalties by resisting taking a stand on the conflict.

Choudhury has evaded punishment by the FA and Leicester City for the deleted post. The latest social media post was not the only time that the former England U21 international has publicly supported Palestine. Choudhury previously celebrated his club’s 2021 FA Cup triumph against Chelsea by waving a Palestine flag.

Choudhury will now be available to play against Leeds United on Friday, November 3rd. The crucial matchup features Championship leaders Leicester hosting the third-placed Whites. Both clubs suffered relegation from the Premier League back in May.

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