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Hull striker Sagbo banned over Anelka message

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By Joe Haining

Friday 13 June 2014

Yannick Sagbo will miss the start of the Premier League season after being hit with a two-match ban for posting a social media message supporting Nicolas Anelka after the ‘quenelle’ gesture controversy, reports the Hull Daily Mail.

Hull City

The furore erupted in December 2013 after Anelka made the gesture, described as an inverted Nazi salute, after scoring for West Bromwich Albion against West Ham United in the Premier League.

Tigers’ striker Sagbo, who represents Ivory Coast at international level although is not in their World Cup squad, was originally fined £15,000 after posting a message in support of Anelka. However, the Football Association appealed against this decision, describing it as “unduly lenient”.

A new, independent appeal board heard the case again and decided to impose a ban of two games to be enforced at the start of the 2014/15 season. The original fine and added punishment of compulsory attendance at an educational programme were also upheld.

While Anelka himself was hit with a much greater penalty for making the gesture – a fine of £80,000, a five-game ban, and ultimately the termination of his West Brom contract – Sagbo may still feel harshly treated. Manchester City’s Samir Nasri and Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho were both seen making the gesture too, but neither suffered any reprisals having successfully claimed not to understand its perceived meaning.

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