28 Feb 2014

Anelka banned for alleged anti-semitic gesture

7:02 am on 28 February 2014

The French footballer Nicolas Anelka has been banned for five matches and fined 160 thousand dollars for making an alleged anti-Semitic gesture in an English Premiership match in December.

Anelka, who made a "quenelle" salute after scoring for West Bromwich Albion in their 3-all draw against West Ham United, has also been ordered to complete a compulsory education course.

The punishment is suspended until the outcome of any appeal or until the player informs the FA of his decision not to appeal.

Anelka had previously used his Facebook and Twitter accounts to ask the FA to drop the charges and denied he was anti-Semitic or racist.

He had claimed the gesture, which has been described as an inverted Nazi salute, was a tribute to his French comedian friend Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala who invented it.