Leicester duo salute FA Cup win with Palestinian flag as teammate accused of ‘disrespecting’ Chelsea in celebrations (VIDEO)
Wesley Fofana and Hamza Choudhury waved a Palestinian flag after their FA Cup victory over Chelsea as the Leicester duo became the latest footballers to show support amid clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants.
Leicester won a first FA Cup title in their 137-year history as they overcame a lacklustre Chelsea 1-0 at Wembley on Saturday thanks to a second-half rocket from Belgian star Youri Tielemans.
Despite Chelsea pressing hard in the closing stages – with Mason Mount drawing an incredible save from Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and the Blues seeing a last-gasp goal ruled out for offside – Leicester held on for a famous win in front of 21,000 fans.Also on rt.com Cup final agony for Chelsea & Tuchel again as wonder goal consigns Abramovich’s club to 3rd season without English trophy (VIDEO)
As jubilant Foxes players and staff celebrated on the pitch afterwards, French defender Fofana and English midfielder Choudhury, who was a late substitute, were both seen with a Palestinian flag.
The pair posed with the flag before Choudhury, 23, collected his winner’s medal with it draped across his shoulders. Later, the star posted “Palestine forever” on his Instagram stories.
Hamza Choudhury et Wesley Fofana pour la Palestine. 🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/cFuYzpMnH2— Instant Foot ⚽️ (@lnstantFoot) May 15, 2021
The gesture earned the pair praise from the Palestinian mission in the UK, which extended its "profoundest gratitude" to the Leicester stars.
Letter to Hamza Choudhury and Wesley Fofana, Leicester Football Club, who used the occasion of the FA cup triumph to show solidarity with the Palestinian people 🇵🇸🙏🏽✌🏽✊@Wesley_Fofanaa@HamzaChoudhury1@LCFC#SavePalestine#Jerusalem#GazaUnderAttackpic.twitter.com/LpaIENZMCL— Palestine in the UK (@PalMissionUK) May 15, 2021
Leicester's beaten rivals Chelsea are owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who acquired Israeli citizenship in 2018 and according to reports has helped donate $100 million to an Israeli settler organization in Jerusalem. That was a claim picked up on by some fans after the scenes from Choudhury and Fofana.
Elsewhere during the Leicester celebrations in the dressing room, Ghanaian star Daniel Amartey, who was an unused substitute for the clash, was accused of disrespecting Chelsea as he was seen tossing the London club’s pennant to the floor.
"It doesn't matter who you support, You have to admit that this is disrespectful and beyond sh*thousery. It's not even funny," fumed one Chelsea fan in response to the footage.
The disrespect from Daniel Amartey 🤭(via lawestt_/IG) pic.twitter.com/yfuxkOmFri— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 15, 2021
Fofana and Choudhury are the latest footballers to offer their support to Palestinians. Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has called for an end to the violence and fellow Egyptian star Mohamed Elneny has also issued a social media post stating “my heart and my soul and my support for you Palestine.”
That message apparently provoked concern from one of Arsenal’s sponsors, Lavazza, with the club reportedly speaking to the midfielder about the message.Also on rt.com Jewish leader calls for Arsenal player to be suspended for pro-Palestine post as sponsor seeks ‘urgent talks’ with football bosses
Elsewhere, the likes of former Arsenal star Mesut Ozil, now at Fenerbahce in Turkey, has also been vocal throughout the latest flare-up in tensions.
There are no reports of Leicester or the English football authorities planning to take action against Fofana or Choudhury for their actions.
Clashes in the Gaza strip continued on Sunday with reports that Israeli airstrikes had killed at least 26 people after rocket attacks from militants.
Since fighting erupted last week, at least 174 people are said to have been killed in Gaza, including 47 children and 29 women, with more than 1,000 people reportedly injured.Also on rt.com ‘Amen’: MMA fighters back UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov after he asks his millions of fans to pray for ‘oppressed Palestinians’
Hamas and other militant groups have fired around 2,900 rockets at cities across southern and central Israel since Monday.
Many of the missiles were destroyed mid-air by Israel’s Iron Dome system, but others struck residential areas, reportedly killing at least 10 people and forcing many to hide in bomb shelters.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Sunday that they had destroyed the home of Yehiyeh Sinwar, the leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza, although it was unclear if he was home at the time of the raid.Also on rt.com Israel claims to have destroyed Hamas leader's home in Gaza as cross-border attacks continue