Although sports laws prohibit mixing football with politics, Maccabi Haifa club excluded its Israeli star of Palestinian origins, Diaa Saba, because of a post by his wife about the Israeli aggression against Gaza.
Although Maccabi needs to win, it ruled out its most prominent striker before the team’s trip to Cyprus, where it will play an important match today, Thursday, against Spain’s Villarreal in the fourth round of the European League.
Maccabi occupies fourth and last place with one point in Group F and needs a win to rise to third place on goal difference behind Greek Panathinaikos (second with 4 points).
Diaa Saba’s wife, through her Instagram account, called for peace for both Israelis and Palestinians, and demanded that innocent children in Gaza and Israel be removed from the ongoing war, which the Israelis considered sympathy for Gaza.
Israel continues to bomb residential neighborhoods, hospitals, and schools for the 34th day of its aggression against the Gaza Strip GazaWhich resulted in the martyrdom of more than 10,800 people, most of whom were women and children.
Despite Sabaa (30 years old)’s apology and his attempts to clarify the post to the team and reduce its impact on the fans, it did not prevent the fans’ outburst of anger against him and the demand for punishments to be imposed on him, which amounted to death threats, which prompted the club’s management to exclude him to please the fans.
A touch of magic by Dia Saba 💫 pic.twitter.com/tfbi1KHBCt
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) August 9, 2023
The Spanish newspaper (Marca) reported that Sabaa – who is now without a team – must play outside Israel, because there is no Jewish team that wants to sign him, and the two Arab teams that play in the Israeli league cannot bear the costs of contracting with him, as he would have received 3 million euros in Maccabi. In 3 and a half years.
The newspaper said that he has offers from clubs in Turkey and the Emirates, places where he previously played.
Sabaa – who hails from the Palestinian town of Majd Al-Krum – was the first Israeli player to play professionally in the UAE League when he joined the Al-Nasr team in October 2020 for two seasons for more than two and a half million euros, after which he moved to Turkish Sivasspor.
Last season, Saba scored 14 goals and made 12 assists, and Marca said that he is currently training alone with personal trainers to maintain his physical fitness.