sport

No FA appeal over Anelka

The Football Association will not appeal against Nicolas Anelka's five-match ban over his 'quenelle' gesture, the governing body has confirmed.

Anelka was hit with the ban last week after a hearing before an independent regulatory commission into his use of the gesture, which has anti-Semitic associations, as a goal celebration after scoring at West Ham on 28 December.

The FA also confirmed that Anelka himself has decided not to contest the independent regulatory commission's sanction.

A statement read: "Having carefully considered the written reasons of the Independent Regulatory Commission together with our appointed QC, the FA confirm they will not be appealing the sanction imposed on Nicolas Anelka.

"The grounds of appeal available to the FA are limited to legal challenges or to circumstances in which the sanction imposed is "so unduly lenient as to be unreasonable".

"As the written reasons make clear, the FA pressed the Commission at the original hearing to impose a suspension of greater than five matches.

"The FA does not consider there is a real prospect of successfully appealing to extend the sanction imposed.

"With confirmation that both parties will not be appealing, Nicolas Anelka will serve out his suspension during this season. We also welcome his confirmation the gesture will not be repeated."