Choudhury sorry for causing offence with social post

Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury says he is “sorry for any offence he has caused” with a social media post often interpreted as supportive of Palestinian nationalism.

Choudhury wrote “From river to sea” with an image of a Palestinian flag on X, formerly known as Twitter on Monday.

Critics say the phrase implies the destruction of Israel, but some pro-Palestinian protesters disagree.

Choudhury, 26, said his post has “unfortunately been misinterpreted”.

The former England Under-21 midfielder has not deleted the post, but in a statement he wrote: “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 Football Association is aware of the original post by Choudhury and is understood to be considering whether it breaches any regulations.

Championship side Leicester said: “We have discussed the matter with Hamza, and shared our concerns that views expressed in this manner – without sufficient context on a deeply nuanced and sensitive topic – are open to misinterpretation, which risks unintentional offence among sections of our communities.

“The thoughts of Leicester City Football Club remain with all the innocent victims of the tragic events unfolding in Israel and Palestine, their families and the communities affected.”

During Saturday’s pro-Palestinian march in London, some in the crowd chanted the phrase, referring to the land between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean.

Earlier this month, UK home secretary Suella Braverman urged police chiefs to consider interpreting the phrase as an “expression of a violent desire to see Israel erased from the world”. Israel and most Jewish groups agree.

This interpretation is disputed by some pro-Palestinian activists who say that most people chanting it are calling for an end to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and blockade of Gaza, not the destruction of Israel itself.

On Monday Andy McDonald was suspended as a Labour MP, after the party said he had made “deeply offensive” comments relating to the Israel-Gaza war.

The MP for Middlesbrough used the phrase in a speech at a pro-Palestinian rally.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s spokesman has said the phrase is “a deeply offensive chant to many”.