Shahid Afridi Clears the Air on Viral Selfie with Pro-Israel Group

Former Pakistani cricket star Shahid Afridi is facing the heat after a photo emerged online showing him posing with members of a pro-Israel group. The group, identified as the North West Friends of Israel (NWFOI), shared the photo on social media, claiming Afridi expressed support for their cause. Afridi denies his association while the group said the cricketer was well aware of their cause.

Pakistani cricket star Shahid Afridi has addressed the controversy surrounding a viral photo with members of the pro-Israel group, North West Friends of Israel, amidst the ongoing Gaza conflict. This triggered criticism in Pakistan, where the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a highly sensitive issue.

The situation arose when the UK-based group posted a photo with Afridi on social media, claiming he supported their cause. The caption read: “Pakistani international cricketer Shahid Afridi stopped to offer his support for our call to release the hostages at our NWFOI vigil last Sunday in Manchester. Shahid is pictured with NWFOI co-chair Raphi Bloom and deputy Chair Bernie Yaffe. Thank you for your support, Shahid!”

Cricketer Responded Instantly

Afridi quickly responded, clarifying his stance. He explained that he was simply taking a selfie with fans while walking in Manchester. He stated, “Imagine strolling down a street in Manchester (UK) and so-called fans approach you for a selfie. You oblige, and moments later, they upload it as some form of Zionist endorsement. Unbelievable! Please don’t believe everything that is uploaded.”

Afridi emphasized his deep concern for the suffering in Palestine, noting that any photo taken in Manchester does not reflect support for any harmful situations. He added, “Seeing innocent lives in Palestine suffer is truly heartbreaking. Thus, any photo or association shared in Manchester does not reflect my support for any situation where human lives are at stake.”

The former cricketer stressed that he regularly takes pictures with fans worldwide, and this instance was no different. He concluded with a heartfelt plea, “I pray for peace, I pray for an end to this war, I pray for freedom.”

The NWFOI, however, disputed Afridi’s version of events. They claimed he was aware of their identity and even posed with their flyers. There was some back-and-forth between Afridi and the group, with each side maintaining their position.

Since October 17, Israeli forces have reportedly killed over 37,000 people in Gaza, predominantly children and women.

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