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Soccer Player for French League Set for Trial After Sharing Antisemitic Video Online

Algerian soccer player Youcef Atal was set to go on trial in France Monday over accusations of inciting hatred after posting a video in which a Palestinian preacher purportedly threatens Israel with a “black day.”

Atal, who plays for French Ligue 1 side Nice, shared the video on his Instagram account, which has 3.2 million followers, shortly after Hamas’s October 7 assault on southern Israel, in which terrorists killed some 1,200 people and kidnapped approximately 240 more, most of them civilians.

In the video, Mahmoud Al Hasanat calls on Allah to “send the Jews a black day,” and “steady the hands” of Gaza inhabitants if they should “throw stones,” prosecutors say.

He also speaks of the plight of children in Gaza.

The 27-year old defender, who quickly deleted the post and issued an apology, was suspended by his club while prosecutors probed the incident for suspected “justification of terrorism.”

But they dropped that line of investigation after watching the video and questioning the player, instead charging him with “incitement to religious hatred.”

Two associations, the International League against Racism and antisemitism (Licra) and the Jewish Observatory of France, have brought civil actions against the player.

If found guilty, Atal could be sentenced to up to one year in prison and fined 45,000 euros ($49,000).

He has been under judicial supervision with a ban on traveling abroad except to play professional soccer.

His club quickly suspended him “until further notice” after the post, while the professional football league banned him for seven matches.

Some of Atal’s Algerian teammates argued for leniency, saying he had apologized and not actually watched the video until the end before posting it.

Source: https://www.timesofisrael.com/algerian-soccer-player-facing-jail-time-in-france-after-sharing-antisemitic-clip/