OGC Nice’s Youcef Atal held in police custody

OGC Nice right-back Youcef Atal (27) was held in police custody on Thursday night for inciting racial hate, according to Nice-Matin

On 14th October, Atal, whilst on international duty with Algeria, shared an anti-semitic post from Palestinian preacher Mahmoud al-Hasanat on his social media, calling for God to “send Jewish people a dark day.” The post came amidst the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict. He quickly deleted the post and then took to social media the following day to apologise for sharing the post. 

Atal prevented from leaving France until hearing

However, on 16th October, the Nice Public Prosecutor opened a preliminary enquiry into Atal. The Algerian was under investigation for “condoning terrorism and public provocation of hate or violence based on religion.” The LFP also conducted an investigation and handed Atal a seven-match suspension, however, that suspension was rendered futile with OGC Nice also taking the decision to suspend their player until further notice. 

Nice-Matin now report that Atal was held overnight in police custody on charges of “provoking religion-based racial hatred.” On Friday afternoon, Atal was freed but put under judicial supervision. Atal must also pay an €80,000 bail within the next 15 days before being judged on 18th December. Until then, he will not be allowed to leave the country. RMC Sport have specified that Atal will, however, be allowed to leave the country for football-related activities. There is no international break during that timespan, but the restrictions placed on him this Friday will not prevent him from taking part in the Africa Cup of Nations in January. 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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