Al-Ettifaq FC apologises for ‘trolling’ Liverpool fans after Henderson move

Al-Ettifaq FC apologises for ‘trolling’ Liverpool fans after Henderson move

Henderson has been made captain of the Saudi side after his transfer there from Liverpool

Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Saudi club Al Ettifaq has apologised to Liverpool fans for printing EFC on the back of Jordan Henderson’s shirt in a tongue-in-cheek promotional post.

Al Ettifaq unveiled Henderson’s new shirt for the season, which also includes a notable number change, with the player taking the number 10 shirt rather than the number 14 that he wore at Anfield.

After the unveiling, Al Ettifaq were quick to 'apologise' for the fact that the club’s EFC abbreviation bears a striking resemblance to that of Liverpool’s rivals, Everton.

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“Sorry to all the Liverpool Football Club fans for putting E.F.C on Hendo’s back. At least it’s not blue,” the club said in a statement.

They then added: “Better get that number 10 kit before it runs out.”

Al Ettifaq will have likely boosted their fanbase this summer, after poaching Henderson from Liverpool and bringing in Reds’ legend Steven Gerrard as their new manager.

Henderson has been made captain of the Saudi side, in a bid to replicate the success Liverpool enjoyed with Henderson as the leader of its team.

During his 10 years with Liverpool, Henderson won the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League, as well as two League Cups, a Club World Cup, a UEFA Super Cup and a Community Shield.

It comes after a former Premier League star questioned whether Henderson's support for LGBT+ rights was “genuine” after he left Liverpool for Saudi Arabia.

Same-sex relationships are illegal in Saudi Arabia, while the gender expression of trans people is also criminalised. Sentences include a maximum penalty of death.

Thomas Hitzlsperger, the highest profile professional footballer to come out as gay in 2013, expressed his disappointment at Henderson’s decision to join Al Ettifaq in a £12m deal.

He said: “So Jordan Henderson finally gets his move to Saudi Arabia. Fair play to him, he can play wherever he wants to play.

“Curious to know though how the new brand JH will look like. The old one is dead! I did believe for a while that his support for the LGBT+ community would be genuine. Silly me…”

Henderson had gained a reputation for being an ally of the LGBT+ community after putting out various statements condemning homophobia in recent years.

Meanwhile, one Twitter user responded to the most recent post with a simple: “Whattifaq is he doing?”

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