Arsenal sponsor demands immediate talks with club after Mohamed Elneny posts support for Palestine
Elneny had tweeted his support for Palestine early last week
Arsenal are reportedly holding talks with sponsor, the Lavazza Group, after midfielder Mohamed Elneny showed his support for Palestine in a post shared on Twitter.
This week has seen the conflict between Israel and Palestine intensify, with dozens killed in a matter of days.
Elneny, who is from neighbouring Egypt, tweeted: "My heart and my soul and my support for you Palestine," accompanying his message with a series of images.
One of the images featured the words 'Palestinian Lives Matter' and, as highlighted by The Mirror, has prompted an angry backlash from some of Arsenal's Jewish supporters.
my heart and my soul and my support for you Palestine 🇵🇸 ✌️ pic.twitter.com/ywrpPk5Xmf
— Mohamed ELNeny (@ElNennY) May 10, 2021
The report also says that Tal Ofer, part of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, approached the club's sponsor and requested a response.
The Lavazza Group have since released a statement indicating they were to hold immediate talks with Arsenal.
"We’ll immediately reach out to Arsenal to remark we are concerned about the club associated with such a message," the statement said.
"Content of this post is totally not aligned with our company values. Lavazza Group is fully committed against racism and antisemitism."
Ofer, who is also said to have approached adidas for a comment, is quoted as saying it was "sad that Arsenal did not want to deal with this more seriously, I would expect better from them than this."
In a statement given to the JC, Arsenal explained that they would be speaking to Elneny about the post, while also making it clear that all of the club's employees are entitled to express their views.
"As with any employees of Arsenal, our players are entitled to express their views on their own platforms," the club said.
"That said, we are speaking to Mo about this so he understands the wider implications of his post.
"As a club we are committed to confronting and eliminating all forms of discrimination and continue to champion the need for equality and diversity across all areas of life."