Youcef Atal est soupçonné d’avoir relayé des propos controversés sur les réseaux sociaux liés au conflit entre Israël et le mouvement palestinien Hamas. Le parquet de Nice a ouvert une enquête préliminaire pour « apologie du terrorisme », lundi 16 octobre.
The prosecutor of Nice has announced on Monday the initiation of a preliminary investigation for « terrorism apology » against the OGC Nice football player Youcef Atal, who is suspected of sharing controversial statements on social media related to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement.
Le président de la Fédération française de football, Philippe Diallo, avait annoncé, dimanche 15 octobre, avoir saisi le conseil de l’éthique après le partage par le joueur de Nice Youcef Atal d’une publication contenant des « appels à la violence », en lien avec le conflit Hamas-Israël.
La FFF condamne
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 publication has since been deleted by the defender of OGC Nice (L1), who then apologized, and AFP was unable 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 it may be in the world, and I support all victims. »
« I will never support a message of hate. Peace is an ideal that I strongly believe in, » he concluded. Contacted by AFP, the prosecutor’s office in Nice clarified that they had not been involved at this stage. As early as 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.