West Ham United delete tweet of support for Palestine

West Ham United delete tweet of support for Palestine
A tweet from West Ham United FC's Arabic Twitter account, which expressed support for Palestine has been deleted, and the author removed from the account.
3 min read
13 May, 2021
West Ham have not commented on the posts removal [Getty]

English Premier League football team West Ham United has deleted a message of support for Palestinians on Twitter, which was posted on the club's official Arabic-language account after days of Israeli bombing in Gaza. 

The West Ham Arabic Twitter account posted the tweet on Tuesday but was reportedly removed within 24-hours after pressure from club officials. 

"Oh God, grant them victory over the oppressive people. Palestine was and will remain a land and home for the Palestinians alone," the tweet read. 

"Nasrallah is coming, even after a while, the Hammers are behind you," it added, referencing West Ham's nickname. 

The account, run by a fan called Abdullah, was started in 2016.

After a year of posting, West Ham management asked Abdullah if he would like to make the account official, but leaving him in charge of posting. 

According to reports by Arabi21 when asked to remove the Palestine tweet by club management, he refused.

It promped West Ham to step in and expel him from the Arabic account, despite being its creator. 

"They told me that the tweet put them in an embarrassing situation," he told Arabi21.

Although the tweet was deleted and Abdullah was removed from the account, he has no regrets. 

"If time went backward, I would have written the same thing. They want to silence us about the truth, and if Palestine were among the countries that interest them, they would have written the same," he said.

The New Arab reached out to West Ham United FC for comment but did not receive a reply.

Elsewhere, officials at Celtic Football Club in Glasgow removed Palestinian flags placed in the stands by fans for Wednesday night's game against St Johnstone.

Fans were told they could display flags in support of the club captain, Scott Brown, who was playing his final game. But the club management judged the fans to have exploited the opportunity by planting Palestinian flags. 

"Unfortunately a small group, which was given access in good faith, has attempted to exploit this opportunity, taken advantage of an occasion intended for our club captain, Scott Brown, and used it for a different purpose. Clearly this is unacceptable and the display was immediately taken down by the club," a statement from the club read. 

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The Green Brigade, Celtic's "ultras", insisting that the display of Palestinian banners in the stadium is exactly what Brown would have wanted.

In a statement released on their Twitter account, they pointed out that two banners were placed in the stands.

The first was the "Brown 8" banner which "honours Brown" and a charity fundraising effort for a local hospital.

The second banner was a Palestinian flag.

"While we view flying the Palestinian flag as an act of humanity and solidarity, the removal and censorship of the flag demonstrates how far out current board have strayed from the values of Celtic Football Club," the statement read.

"To remain neutral on hideous and violent acts of oppression is to side with the oppressor, which is an affront to the founding ethos of our club," it continued.

Celtic football fans have a tradition of waving Palestinian flags at games and long supported oppressed groups.

In 2016, fans held a banner that read "Refugees welcome, a club founded by immigrants".

Before that, Celtic supporters expressed solidarity with Black people in South Africa, and the Basque people seeking independence from Spain. 

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