The French Football Federation (FFF) said on Sunday its ethics committee would investigate Nice player Youcef Atal over social media posts containing “calls to violence” linked to the Hamas-Israel conflict.
The Algerian international defender posted a video on Instagram in which a speaker, according to people who saw him, made anti-Semitic comments calling for violence.
The message sparked outrage among French politicians.
It has since been removed and AFP cannot independently verify its contents.
On Sunday, FFF president Philippe Diallo released a statement denouncing the 27-year-old player’s “calls for violence.”
“They are contrary to the ethics of our sport and the values that football relentlessly defends,” he said.
“The FFF condemns them in the strongest possible terms. Hate speech cannot be tolerated,” he stated, announcing that the FFF National Ethics Board had been notified.
Atal apologized on Instagram on Sunday.
“I am aware that my publication shocked people, which was not my intention, and I apologize for that,” he wrote, adding that he wanted to “clarify (his) position without any ambiguity: I strongly condemn all forms of violence . , anywhere in the world, and I support all victims.”
“I will never support a message of hate. Peace is an ideal that I firmly believe in,” he said.
Contacted AFP, Nice’s public prosecutor’s office said it was not yet investigating.
Israel declared war on Hamas on Sunday, a day after waves of fighters breached the heavily fortified border with Gaza and killed more than 1,400 people, most of them civilians.
Israel’s response has killed at least 2,450 people in the Gaza Strip, the majority of them ordinary Palestinians, the health ministry there said.