December 4, 2023
A group of Mainz supporters said they had requested that the match be canceled “to remind Mainz of the values ​​contained in its mission statement”.

Mainz, the Bundesliga side, will play its preliminary match against Newcastle, despite fans protesting the owners of the English club.

A group of fans said the match should be canceled because Newcastle was “a way to assert the interests of a regime that tramples on human rights”.

He also said that “the country’s policies are completely inconsistent with the values ​​and mission statement of Mainz 05”.

Maines said cancellation was “not possible” for “contractual” reasons.

He also said that the match in Austria on July 18 would go ahead because it was “important for their pre-season preparations” but that they would meet with the fans to discuss the issue.

“If we do not honor our contractual obligations, this could have serious legal and economic consequences for us,” said Mainz board member Christian Heidel.

Newcastle’s ownership model has been controversial since the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) took over the club last October.

Human rights groups said the move was an attempt to “sport wash” the country’s image, with which the Mainz fan group agreed.

Upon taking over the club, Newcastle’s owners had to provide “legally binding assurances” to the Premier League that the state would not take control of the club even though Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is also the head of the Public Investment Fund.

Mainz Ansar GroupExternal link She said she wanted to use the planned game as an opportunity to “remind Mainz of the values ​​contained in its mission statement….which, among other things, democratic values ​​and an aggressive stance against exclusion and discrimination are central elements.”

She added: “We recall that Saudi Arabia is not only an absolute monarchy in which there is no place for the democratic participation of its citizens, but a country where basic human rights are systematically ignored.

“With the decision to play a friendly match against Newcastle United, Mainz sends 05 a signal … that the mission statement values ​​are not binding” and “also effectively provides the Saudi regime with a stage and thus indirectly recognizes it politically.”

“We call on Mainz 05: take a stand! Read your mission statement! CANCEL THE MATCH AGAINST Newcastle United!”

Mainz Chairman Stefan Hoffmann added: “We did not expect the reaction we received from some fans. We respect them and regret that these concerns arose because it is our responsibility to start the new season as one big unit with our fans.”

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