Nicolas Anelka has been charged by the Football Association following the ‘quenelle’ gesture that he made while playing against West Ham United on December 28,
The West Bromwich Albion striker has been widely condemned for making the gesture – which is seen by many as anti-Semitic – while celebrating the first of his two goals at Upton Park, although the Baggies have continued to include him in their starting line-up.
However, under the FA’s anti-discrimination sanctions, Anelka is now set to be banned for a minimum of five games, and he has been asked to answer for his actions, and has until 1800 GMT on Thursday to respond to the charge.
Anelka did agree not to use the gesture again to celebrate a goal, but his failure to apologise has escalated the row. On Monday, West Brom shirt sponsor Zoopla confirmed that they would not be renewing their deal with the club at the end of the season because of the issue surrounding the Frenchman.
An FA statement read: “The FA has charged the West Bromwich Albion player Nicolas Anelka following an incident that occurred during the West Ham United versus West Bromwich Albion fixture at the Boleyn Ground on 28 December 2013.
“It is alleged that, in the 40th minute of the fixture, Anelka made a gesture which was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper, contrary to FA Rule E3(1). It is further alleged that this is an aggravated breach, as defined in FA Rule E3(2), in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief.”
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