Atal was suspended by OGC Nice following the post in October. Daniel Derajinski/Icon Sport/Getty Images CNN —
Algerian international player Youcef Atal, who plays for French club OGC Nice, has been handed a suspended sentence and a €45,000 fine ($49,000) following a social media repost regarding the Israel-Gaza conflict.
“Mr. Atal was found guilty and sentenced to an 8-month suspended prison sentence, a 45,000 euro fine,” the court said in a statement released Wednesday and obtained by CNN.
A court in Nice said the repost provoked hatred on the grounds of religion, according to Reuters.
The 27-year-old Atal will also have to pay for details of the conviction to be published in French newspapers Nice Matin and Le Monde, according to the court.
The day after the Hamas October 7 attack, Atal republished a 35-second video by a Palestinian preacher who called on God to send “a black day over the Jews,” French newspaper Nice-Matin reported, per Reuters.
Defender Atal subsequently apologized for the deleted post, according to Reuters, saying on Instagram at the time: “I am aware that my post shocked many people, which wasn’t my intention, and I apologise.”
Atal, pictured at Nice courthouse, southern France, was given a suspended sentence and a fine. Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images
CNN has reached out for comment from the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France, which Le Monde reported had filed a complaint against the player in October.
OGC Nice, which is second in the Ligue 1 table, suspended Atal for the social media repost.
“As soon as he returned from Algeria national team duty, where he had been since 9 October, Youcef Atal was contacted by the directors of OGC Nice for a conversation,” said the Ligue 1 club in October.
“OGC Nice understands that the player has acknowledged his error by quickly withdrawing the sharing of the publication and has offered a public apology in writing.
“Nevertheless, given the nature of the publication shared, and its seriousness, the club has taken the decision to take immediate disciplinary action against the player, prior to any action that may be taken by sporting and legal authorities.
“As such, the club has decided to suspend Youcef Atal until further notice,” added OGC Nice in its statement.
CNN has reached out to OGC Nice for comment regarding Atal’s suspended sentence and fine.
Defender Atal has been named in Algeria’s squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, according to a list published Sunday by the Confederation of African Football.