UK & World News

  • 21 January 2014, 12:13

Nicolas Anelka Charged By FA Over 'Quenelle'

Nicolas Anelka has been charged by the FA after making a gesture widely considered to be anti-Semitic.

The striker performed the "quenelle" while celebrating a goal during West Bromwich Albion's match against West Ham on December 28.

The controversy over the gesture has already cost his club a lucrative sponsorship deal with property websiteZoopla, which was founded by an American Jewish businessman.

Anelka is said to be "considering his options" after he was accused of breaking FA rules by making a gesture that was "abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper".

The 34-year-old is also accused of an "aggravated breach" of the regulations because it is claimed the gesture "included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion and/or belief".

Hefaces a possible minimum five-game ban under the FA's anti-discrimination sanctions.

Anelka, who was seen leaving West Brom's training ground shortly after the charge was announced, said he performed the quenelle in support of Frenchman Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, who invented the gesture.

The comedian has been banned from performing in his home country because his act isconsidered to be offensive.

He claims the quenelle is an anti-establishment gesture but it has been widely interpreted as a disguised Nazi salute.

People have photographed themselves performing the gesture outside the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland and at Holocaust memorials around the world.

Anelka, a former French international, has until 6pm on January 23 to respond to the FA charge.

A West Brom spokesman said he would remain available for first team selection until after the disciplinary process.

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