Paul Pogba, Riyad Mahrez and other Arab, Muslim footballers express solidarity with Palestinians amid conflict with Israel

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Nicosia: Arab and Muslim footballers have been expressing support for Palestinians in recent days, including on social media, amid clashes between Israeli security forces and protesters in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.

"The world needs peace and love. It will soon be Eid, let us all love one another #PrayForPalestine," Manchester United's Paul Pogba wrote on a photo on Instagram, referring to the Eid al-Fitr holiday this week marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Some former and current athletes have posted messages of solidarity with Palestinians in east Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, where looming evictions of Palestinian families have fuelled angry demonstrations.

Algerian striker Riyad Mahrez, who plays for Manchester City, tweeted a picture of the Palestinian flag with the hashtag #SaveSheikhJarrah. The post has been retweeted more than 50,000 times.

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Moroccan Achraf Hakimi, who is with Italy's Inter Milan, tweeted a video of a woman apparently arrested by Israel security forces appearing to argue with officers about the issue.

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Former Mali and Tottenham forward Frederic Kanoute wrote on Twitter, "apartheid continues and Palestinians are being expelled from their homes while most 'leaders' are complicit with their silence at best and their direct support at worst".

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Egyptian Ahmed Hassan "Kouka", currently playing for Greek side Olympiakos, also posted a message of support for Palestinians.

Other sympathisers from sporting ranks have included Russian mixed martial arts champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, French footballer Franck Ribery, German footballer Shkodran Mustafi, and Egyptian former football star Mohamed Aboutrika, currently a commentator with beIN sports channel in Qatar.

Also See: Champions League: Riyad Mahrez nets winner as Manchester City come from behind to beat 10-man PSG in semi-final first leg

Champions League: Evolution of N'Golo Kante, how PSG lost the plot and other talking points from semis 2nd legs

Europa League: Bruno Fernandes, Edinson Cavani run riot as Manchester United thump AS Roma to banish semi-final hoodoo

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