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FA says players may face police action for pro-Palestine phrase

The FA will write to clubs advising players not to use the phrase "from the river to the sea" in social media posts as it is "considered offensive to many".

Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury apologised and deleted a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, for using the phrase alongside a Palestinian flag.

After an investigation, the FA decided against imposing a sanction on Choudhury, but if any player uses the phrase again, they run the risk of being investigated by police

An FA spokesperson said: "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. The player has apologised 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."

The phrase references the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and Jewish groups see it as effectively advocating an extension of a Palestinian state which would eradicate Israel.

Others see it as calling for a West Bank free of the Israeli occupation.

Choudhury, 26, said in a statement: "It was and is not my intention to cause offence to anyone but simply to show compassion for the innocent people that are suffering.

"I'm sorry for any offence this has caused. I share the hope of people around the world that a peaceful resolution can bring an end to the ongoing suffering of innocent people in this conflict."

The FA are moving to increase clarity for clubs who are concerned about players who may comment on the Israeli-Hamas war on their social media channels and use potentially inflammatory language.

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