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Anelka calls on FA to drop quenelle charge

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By Andrew Tuft

Wednesday 22 January 2014

West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka has said the Football Association should drop the charge levied at him for his quenelle gesture, BBC Sport has reported.

Nicolas Anelka

Anelka would be banned for a minimum five games if found guilty but believes the governing body are wrong to bring a case against him.

“I ask the FA to lift the charges that have been held against me,” Anelka wrote on his Facebook page.

“I am neither anti-Semitic nor racist.”

Anelka also shared a video of Roger Cukierman, head of Jewish organisation CRIF (Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions), denying that the quenelle is necessarily an offensive gesture.

“The English FA have employed an expert to rule on the significance of my quenelle,” Anelka continued. “He has concluded that my gesture had an anti-Semitic connotation, which had led to me being charged by the FA.

“It would have been legitimate if this expert had been French, living in France and with an exact understanding of my gesture.

“What better expert than Mr Cukierman, head of Jewish organisation CRIF, who explains very clearly that my quenelle could not be considered anti-Semitic. He also explains precisely when this gesture could have such a connotation.”

Zoopla have already announced they will be ending their sponsorship of Albion over the incident and the BBC notes a number of the club’s other sponsors are considering their position.

Anelka, formerly of Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Bolton, Chelsea and a number of other clubs around the world, has until Thursday evening to lodge an official reply to the charge.

The 34-year-old played the full game for Albion in the 1-1 draw with Everton on Monday, the same day the FA charge was confirmed.

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