Paul Pogba holds Palestine flag with Manchester United team-mate Amad Diallo at Old Trafford

·2-min read
<p>Pogba and Amad display the Palestinian flag</p> (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Pogba and Amad display the Palestinian flag

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United duo Paul Pogba and Amad Diallo held aloft a Palestine flag on the Old Trafford pitch following Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against Fulham.

Around 10,000 United fans returned to Old Trafford to watch a game for the first time in 14 months following the easing of coronavirus restrictions in the UK on Monday.

Following the match, which ended 1-1, United midfielder Pogba collected a Palestine flag and was joined by United team-mate Amad in showing solidarity with the Palestinian people amid the ongoing conflict with Israel.

Pogba and Amad are not the first high-profile players to show their support for Palestine in recent days, with Leicester City pair Hamza Choudhury and Wesley Fofana waving the same flag at Wembley following the Foxes’ FA Cup Final triumph over Chelsea on Saturday.

Heavy fighting broke out on May 10 when Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers fired long-range rockets towards Jerusalem in support of Palestinian protests against Israel’s policing of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a flashpoint site sacred to Jews and Muslims, and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers.

At least 213 Palestinians have been killed in air strikes since, including 61 children and 36 women, with more than 1,440 people wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which does not break the numbers down into fighters and civilians.

Twelve people in Israel, including a five-year-old boy and a soldier, have been killed in the ongoing rocket attacks.

The fighting is the most intense since a 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, but efforts to halt it have so far stalled. Egyptian mediators are trying to negotiate a ceasefire, but the US has stopped short of demanding an immediate stop to the hostilities and Israel has so far vowed to press on.

Following Pogba and Amad’s decision, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “We have players from different backgrounds, different cultures, different countries,” the United boss said.

“I think we need to respect their views if they differ from someone else’s. If my players think about other things than football, that’s a positive thing.

“I think we’ve seen that with some of the players before, that they do care about... say Marcus Rashford, for example, the differences he’s made. We respect their right to have a different view.”

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Additional reporting by AP.

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