Algerian Footballer Youcef Atal Faces Suspended for Supporting Palestine

News Desk3 months ago

French court issued an eight-month suspended sentence to Algerian footballer Youcef Atal, accusing him of inciting religious hatred in a social media post related to the Gaza war.

The court also imposed a fine of $49,000 on the Algerian defender, who plays for Nice, a French club, for sharing a video that advocated for a “black day for the Jews.”

As part of the penalty, Atal is required to bear the cost of publishing details of his conviction in regional newspaper Nice-Matin and national newspaper Le Monde.

The shared video featured preacher Mahmoud Al Hasanat calling on God to bring a “black day for the Jews” and to guide Gazans in their response to Israel.

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At the time of sharing the video, Atal was engaged with his national team.

Apologizing during the court hearings, the 27-year-old expressed that he intended to convey a “message of peace” and had not watched the entire 35-second video before posting it.

In response, Nice suspended Atal from playing “until further notice,” and the Professional Football League (LFP) handed him a seven-match ban.

Despite the recent disciplinary actions, Atal has been selected for Algeria’s squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament, commencing on January 13, 2024.

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