Chris McGreal makes 3rd unforced error in story on footballers signing anti-Israel petition

The Guardian’s Chris McGreal (recently singled out in a CST Report on Antisemitic Discourse) recently published a story about a petition signed by some footballers calling for European football’s governing body to cancel Israel’s hosting of a 2013 European competition in response to the Gaza war.  (‘Footballers condemn plans to hold U21 European Championship in Israel‘, Guardian, Nov. 30)

However, after a CiF Watch post demonstrated that two of the footballers cited by McGreal as signing the petition – former Chelsea player Didier Drogba and Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye – flatly denied signing it, the Guardian revised McGreal’s piece accordingly, and noted the following on their corrections page.


Well, it looks like the Guardian’s ‘Corrections’ editor will have more work to do, as the Daily Mail is reporting that another footballer cited by McGreal, Chelsea forward Eden Hazard, has also denied signing the petition.

The Daily Mail’s Charles Sale wrote:

“Hazard had not contributed to the petition. His agent John Bico said: ‘Eden never speaks about his political opinions and he certainly never signed anything.'” 

You can email Guardian readers’ editor Chris Elliott (, and Tweet Chris McGreal (@ChrisMcGreal), to point out the additional error. 

10 replies »

  1. The second paragraph is wrong. Kanoute has not denied signing the petition, and appears to have initiated it (if any of this is to be believed). You mean Drogba.

    Also, please don’t use tennis terminology in an article about football!!!

  2. A few African-born players, some in Asian clubs now, telling Platini where UEFA should or shouldn’t go. Nuts!

  3. I suggest people don’t request the Guardian change this.

    Chelsea, and some supporters (including some prominent lawyers) are already on the case, and are very unhappy that Hazard’s name has been used in this way. If the lie is not corrected, Chelsea would probably sue, which would be a far more damaging to them than just having to print a correction. Be good to see Chris McGreal scurrying for a lawyer too.

  4. I think I’ve noted this elsewhere but it bears repeating here: the fact that BDS constantly lies about what it’s “achieved” and doesn’t seem to believe that its factual successes are sufficient to establish itself makes it impossible to take it seriously as anything other than a bigoted fringe movement.