A football player from Nice shares posts promoting violence in the Hamas-Israel conflict, and the FFF (French Football Federation) condemns it.

The French Football Federation has reported to its ethics council following an Instagram post by Nice player Youcef Atal, which includes « calls for violence » related to the Hamas-Israel conflict.

The president of the French Football Federation, Philippe Diallo, announced on Sunday, October 15th, that he has referred the matter to the ethics council after Nice player Youcef Atal shared a post containing « calls for violence » related to the Hamas-Israel conflict.

Estrosi et le Crif dénoncent la publication

Voices have been raised since Saturday, including those of Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi (Horizons) and the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (Crif), to denounce the posting on the Algerian international’s Instagram account of a video featuring a preacher who, according to these sources, made anti-Semitic remarks inciting violence.

This post has since been deleted by the defender of OGC Nice (L1), who later apologized, and AFP was not able to independently verify its content. In a statement, the president of FFF, Philippe Diallo, denounced « the calls for violence spread by the 27-year-old player. » « They go against the ethics of our sport and the values that football tirelessly defends, » he stated.

« I cannot reword »

The player has offered apologies.

« I am aware that my post has shocked several people, which was not my intention and I apologize for it, » the player reacted on Instagram on Sunday, adding that he wants to « clarify (his) point of view without any ambiguity: I strongly condemn all forms of violence, wherever they may occur in the world, and I support all the victims. »

« I will never support a message of hate. Peace is an ideal that I firmly believe in, » he concluded. Contacted by AFP, the public prosecutor’s office in Nice clarified that they had not been informed at this stage. As of Saturday, in a message posted on X (formerly Twitter), Christian Estrosi had stated that he expected an apology from the player « if he allowed himself to be manipulated. » « If this is not the case, he would no longer have a place in our club, » added the mayor of Nice.

The Crif will file a complaint.

« If the content » of the relayed statements is « confirmed », they are « constitutive of incitement to hatred », emphasized the Crif Sud-Est. Stating that they have consulted their lawyer « to file a complaint », they have requested a « sworn translation » of these statements.

More than 1,400 individuals were killed in Israel during the attack carried out on October 7 by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, mostly civilians including children, and over 120 people were taken hostage, according to Israeli officials. In Gaza, the Israeli retaliation resulted in the death of 2,450 individuals, including over 700 children, and caused 9,200 injuries, as reported by local authorities.

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