sport

Anelka begins his defence

Nicolas Anelka began his defence on the second day of the disciplinary hearing into his 'quenelle' celebration.

The West Brom striker is fighting a Football Association misconduct charge over his use of the gesture while celebrating a goal at West Ham in December.

He spent a second day at the independent regulatory commission's hearing at the Grove Hotel in Watford, during which his defence team presented their case.

Anelka's QC is Pushpinder Saini - who reportedly earns around 100,000 a week and whose bill is understood to be being paid for by Anelka himself as West Brom have said he must pay his own legal fees.

He denies the goal celebration he performed had any anti-Semitic meaning and was a gesture in support of his friend, the French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala.

The hearing is expected to be completed by the end of the week and Anelka faces a minimum five-match ban if he is found guilty of breaching the FA's anti discrimination rules.

The charge is of an aggravated offence after making a gesture that was judged to be "abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper".

The aggravated breach was that it included "a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief".