Atal had the following to say:

“I liked a post from Khabib because I am a fan of the sportsman. I did not want to hurt anyone. I have been profoundly affected by the recent attack in Nice. I am Muslim and I am against terrorism.”

This apology was not enough for some, including Philippe Vardon, a candidate to become Mayor of Nice and who is the current Vice President of the relevant regional faction of the National Rally party (formerly known as Front National):

“He can no longer wear the OGC Nice shirt. Although Youcef Atal is unfortunately not the only footballer to have distinguished himself by supporting this message (Benzema, Kimpembe, Sakho and Bakayoko are amongst players to come out against Macron), his status as a key player of OGC Nice makes his decision to “like” this even more shocking. [I ask] OGC Nice to respond and cancel the player’s contract for serious misconduct.”