Anelka shouldn’t be banned for quenelle, says Lukaku

Everton forward Romelu Lukaku has offered his support for Nicolas Anelka in the row over the West Brom striker’s quenelle gesture, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Lukaku, who is currently on-loan from Chelsea, revealed his support for Anelka stating after the 1-1 draw between Everton and Albion at the Hawthorns.

Anelka used the gesture in a celebration for his goal at West Ham earlier on in the season and was heavily criticised after it was seen as anti-Semitic. An FA charge was issued on Tuesday.

But having leapt to his former Chelsea teammate’s defence, Lukaku insisted he’s supporting Anelka all the way.

He said: “He was my idol since I was a kid and still is. I think he shouldn’t be banned for that.

“He just liked to support a stand-up comedian in France, so we don’t have to make such a big deal about it.

“I hope he doesn’t get suspended because he’s a player that people want to see play on the pitch.”

After being heavily criticised, Anelka insisted the gesture was made in support of French comedian Dieudonne and was not used to cause any offence. The 34-year old faces a minimum ban of five games.

Lukaku’s support for Anelka was revealed in a video interview on Everton’s official website, which was taken down soon after. The club said the interview was conducted by Sky Sports and uploaded by an external service.

The Belgian international spent a season on loan at West Brom last year, where he played 35 times for the Baggies, scoring 17 goals.

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