Algeria international Youcef Atal was suspended by Nice on Wednesday for a social media post about the Israel-Hamas conflict, the Ligue 1 club said on Wednesday.
Defender Atal, who has been at Nice since 2018, has since deleted the post. He had been on international duty with Algeria and was summoned to speak with the club as soon as he returned.
Hamas fighters killed 1,300 Israelis on October 7 in the deadliest Palestinian militant attack in Israel’s history, while Israel responded with intensive air strikes that have killed more than 2,800 Palestinians.
“OGC Nice understands that the player acknowledged his mistake by quickly removing the sharing of the publication and offered his written and public apologies,” Nice said in a statement.
“Nevertheless, given the nature of the shared publication and its seriousness, the club took the decision to immediately take the first disciplinary sanctions against the player, prior to those that could be decided by the sports and judicial authorities.
“As such, the club has decided to suspend Youcef Atal until further notice.”
The Algerian had earlier apologised for the deleted post.
“I am aware that my post shocked many people, which wasn’t my intention, and I apologise,” 27-year-old Atal said on Instagram on Sunday.
“I want to clarify my point of view without any ambiguity: I strongly denounce all forms of violence, wherever in the world, and I support all victims.”
Nice is second in Ligue 1, one point behind AS Monaco. It hosts sixth-placed Olympique de Marseille on Saturday.