OGC Nice, Ligue 1 football club, announced on Wednesday to suspend “until further notice” its defender Youcef Atal, targeted by a preliminary investigation for “apology of terrorism” after a post linked to the conflict between Israel and the movement Palestinian Islamist Hamas.
OGC Nice announced on Wednesday to suspend “until further notice” its defender Youcef Atal, targeted by a preliminary investigation for “apology of terrorism” after a post linked to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas. Even if the Algerian international quickly deleted this publication and apologized, the club explained in a press release that it had chosen to “immediately take” sanctions, “prior” to those that could be taken by sporting or judicial authorities, ” given the nature of the shared post and its seriousness.”
The club reaffirms “its firm commitment so that peace prevails over all other considerations”
Traveling with the Algerian selection since October 9, Youcef Atal was summoned upon his return to Nice by the club’s leaders, who spoke with him. “We would like to emphasize that the reputation and unity of OGC Nice result from the behavior of all of its employees, who must be in accordance with the values defended by the institution,” explained the club, reaffirming “ his firm commitment to ensuring that peace prevails over all other considerations.”
Anti-Semitic comments calling for violence
Since Saturday, reactions have multiplied to denounce the sharing, on the footballer’s Instagram account, of a video of a preacher making, according to these accusers, anti-Semitic remarks calling for violence. This publication having been deleted by the player, AFP was not able to independently verify its exact content.
Seized by the prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes Hugues Moutouh and the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi (Horizons), the Nice prosecutor announced Monday the opening of an investigation for “apology of terrorism” and “provocation to hatred or violence based on a specific religion.
On Tuesday, the South-East branch of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (Crif) also filed a complaint against the player. On the sporting side, the ethics council of the French Football Federation (FFF) was contacted.