Chilean football team and Riyad Mahrez express support for Palestinians

Club Deportivo Palestino wore traditional keffiyeh before their match in the Chilean Primera Division

Footballers based in South America and Europe have been showing their support for the Palestinian people after Israeli police stormed the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem and wounded hundreds of worshippers.

The latest attack came after days of mounting tensions between Palestinians and Israeli authorities in the Old City of Jerusalem. Unrest has also been fuelled by the proposed evictions of several Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem.

Earlier, Chile side Club Deportivo Palestino showed their support for Palestinians by wearing the traditional keffiyeh before their match against Colo-Colo in the Chilean Primera Division.

The club has a deep connection with the Palestinian people. It was founded in Chile in 1920 by Palestinian immigrants in the city of Osorno.

Deportivo Palestino first made headlines in 2014 when they were banned from using a shirt that stylised the number 1 in the shape of Palestine's map.

They were also fined $1,300 by the Chilean football association.

β€œOur mission is to do sports,” Roberto Kettlun, sports manager of Deportivo Palestino, had told The National in 2018. β€œBut we represent a flag, we represent our blood, our culture.”

On Monday, Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez also gave his support to those affected in the region, posting #SaveSheikhJarrah on his Twitter account, together with a picture of the flag of Palestine.

Updated: May 10, 2021 05:01 PM

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