UK & World News
West Brom Sack Anelka After 'Quenelle' Storm
West Brom say they have terminated Nicolas Anelka's contract for gross misconduct, following his ban for performing the controversial 'quenelle' gesture during a match.
In a statement on their website, the club said their decision was the result the player's conduct while celebrating a goal against West Ham on December 28 and his remarks posted on social media.
"The club considers the conduct of Nicolas Anelka on December 28, coupled with his purported termination on social media this evening, to be gross misconduct," it said.
"As a result the club has tonight written to Nicola Anelka giving him 14 days' notice of termination as required under his contract."
The 35-year-old, whose deal at the Premier League side was due to expire in the summer, had earlier announced he would leave the club over its response to his five-match ban and £80,000 fine from the FA.
He wrote on his Twitter account that he had decided to "put an end" to his contract, saying the club had proposed "certain conditions that I cannot accept".
In three posts written in French on Twitter, the player said: "Following talks between the club and me, propositions were made to me in order to reintegrate me into the squad under certain conditions that I cannot accept.
"Wishing to retain my integrity, I have therefore taken the decision to free myself and put an end to the contract linking me with West Bromwich Albion to 2014, with immediate effect."
West Brom previously issued a statement in response, indicating Anelka's words had taken them by surprise.
It said: "The club has received nothing formally regarding the termination of Nicolas Anelka's contract from either him or his advisers.
"The club regards the release of such a statement on social media as highly unprofessional and will make a further statement when appropriate."
It was claimed the quenelle was anti-Semetic, but Anelka says the gesture was merely anti-establishment and made in support of his friend Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, a French comedian who has been convicted seven times of anti-Semitic crimes.
A Football Association commission found it was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper, and that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief.
It accepted there was no intent by Anelka to be anti-Semitic, but banned him for five matches and fined him £80,000. He was subsequently suspended by West Brom.