Algeria and OGC Nice player Youcef Atal is DETAINED by French police over pro-Palestine posts

Atal will face trial on December 18 at the Nice Criminal Court.


Algeria and OGC Nice player Youcef Atal is DETAINED by French police over pro-Palestine posts

Youcef Atal (via AFP)

Algerian footballer Youcef Atal has been detained by the French police in a probe over the suspected ‘justification of terrorism’. Atal, who is also a Ligue 1 side OGC Nice player, posted in solidarity with Palestine a month ago. Since then, he has had to go through several back-and-forth ordeals with the club.

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Subsequently, this resulted in the 27-year-old defender’s ban from 7 games. Later, Atal was seen deleting the post and issuing an apology to clear the air. However, this does not seem to be enough for the authorities. Following the posts, the public prosecutor in Nice opened a probe at the request of the local mayor.

Now, as per the reports from AFP via Barron’s,

Atal will face trial for incitement to religious hatred on December 18 at the Nice criminal court.

It is reported that aside from Atal posting a Palestinian flag, he also shared a video on Instagram (which was deleted soon enough) that had alleged hate speech. However, the sources have been unable to verify the content of the clip that was shared.

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But the Algerian had already been suspended by his club soon after his posts. In an official statement from Nice, it read that Atal has been suspended ‘until further notice’. So, this comes as a surprise to many fans who have already shown their support for the player along with supporting Mainz’s former player Anwar El-Ghazi, and Karim Benzema. Further, there are some even questioning the consistency of the authorities saying that support for Ukraine and/or Israel is not met with similar ‘severity’.

Youcef Atal will be appearing for the court trial in December, as fans and his national teammates rally on social media to showcase their support for the player.

Former Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez shows support for Youcef Atal

Following the news of Youcef Atal’s detention, Algerian teammate, and ex-Manchester City winger, Riyad Mahrez showcased support via Instagram story.

Screenshots from Riyad Mahrez's Instagram story for Youcef Atal
Screenshots from Riyad Mahrez’s Instagram story for Youcef Atal.

Mahrez has posted a picture of him with Atal in Algerian colors, along with a heartfelt caption.

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Support and courage @youcefatal for this ordeal, in a matter that takes on excessive proportions.

Riyad Mahrez currently plays for Saudi Pro League club Al-Ahli after a summer move from Manchester City. While on international duty for Algeria, the player was also seen holding a Palestinian flag with a caption on Twitter that read, “We want peace ❤️🤲🏼.”

Meanwhile, like Mahrez, there are many who are praying for Youcef Atal. Moreover, there is gathering support amongst football fans who want peace on all fronts and have shared their emotions on X for the same.

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