Thomas Tuchel welcomes Bayern Munich statement after Noussair Mazraoui post

By Sports Desk October 20, 2023

Bayern Munich have said Moroccan defender Noussair Mazraoui will remain part of the squad after holding talks with him over a social media post linked to the violence in Israel and Gaza.

Mazraoui, who is currently sidelined with injury, has given the club “credible assurances” that he rejects terrorism and war, Bayern chief executive Jan-Christian Dreesen said on Friday.

The talks with Mazraoui followed an Instagram post on his account which featured a voiceover saying: “God, help our oppressed brothers in Palestine to achieve victory. May God give mercy to the dead, may God heal their wounded.”

Israel has launched airstrikes in Gaza following attacks on its citizens by Hamas militants which began on October 7.

Mazraoui issued a statement via the club on Friday which read: “I condemn all terrorism and terrorist organisations.”

Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel said: “I’m pleased about the clear statement that the club has given. It was important that the club and Jan-Christian Dreesen gave the statement because the issue goes far beyond sport.

“Obviously I’ve spoken with ‘Nouz’ (Mazraoui). A changing room is always a place where you work towards a common goal peacefully, in a friendly way and with camaraderie. I have big trust in the team, in the impact of the changing room. We know that you can overcome tough circumstances together.”

Tuchel said the players and coaching staff were also trying their hardest to support Israeli goalkeeper Daniel Peretz.

“It’s tough for me to put myself in his place. We’re trying to stand alongside him,” the former Chelsea boss said.

“We don’t have a healing world in the changing room but it has a healing effect. We need to ask Daniel how he’s doing. It’s a really sensitive topic, especially for Daniel, whose family are directly affected. We’ll look after him.”

Bayern resume their Bundesliga campaign after the international break with an away trip to Mainz on Saturday evening.

The Bavarian club are third, two points behind league leaders Bayer Leverkusen after seven matches.

Bayern have Manuel Neuer back in training but Tuchel confirmed Sven Ulreich would be in goal against Mainz, and most likely for the Galatasaray match in the Champions League on Tuesday.

He also revealed Matthijs de Ligt and Kim Min-jae were set to be his centre-back pairing at Mainz.

Tuchel confirmed Serge Gnabry, Dayot Upamecano and Raphael Guerreiro were all unavailable, with Leon Goretzka still a doubt. He also admitted it was looking “tight” as to whether Joshua Kimmich would play, having returned to training.

Asked about the threat posed by his former club Mainz, Tuchel said: “They love the role of the underdog. They’ve cultivated it.

“It’s a strength of theirs, especially at times when things aren’t going well. It’s something we need to face up against. We were in good form, had one of our best games against Freiburg.

“Now we’ve had an international break and are training again for the first time with the whole team today, but there are different situations.

“I’m pleased we’re playing at 6.30pm. It’s not just about our play but also how we play physically. We’re expecting a lot of long balls, lots of battling for the second balls. I’m well aware of what’s coming our way.”

Mainz sit second-bottom in the standings with just two points from their opening seven matches.

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