Football

Nicolas Anelka insists 'quenelle' gesture wasn't anti-semitic

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West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka insists his "quenelle" gesture was not anti-semitic and has called upon the FA to drop their case against him.

The Frenchman has been charged by the FA over the gesture, which could be interpreted as anti-semitic, that he used to celebrate his goal against West Ham on December 28.

The 34-year-old faces a minimum five-game ban if found guilty. 

Anelka used the quenelle a day after it was revealed that the French government was looking at ways to try and ban comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, a friend of Anelka's, who bases his routine around anti-semitism and uses the gesture as a trademark. 

West Brom's shirt sponsor Zoopla confirmed this week that they will end their association with the club at the end of the season when their agreement runs out over the incident.

Now Anelka has hit back, insisting that because of the context his actions were not anti-semitic.

He wrote on his Facebook page: "The English football Federation hired an expert to decide the meaning of my gesture... The latter concluded that my gesture had an anti-Semitic connotation, which led to my indictment by the FA.

"It would have been legitimate that this expert is french, living in France, and that could have an exact knowledge of my gesture.

What better expert than Mr. Cukierman, president of CRIF (Conseil Représentatif France Jewish Institutions), which explains it very clearly that my quenelle could not be considered to be anti-Semitic!

"He also explained accurately and at what time this gesture could have such a connotation.

"I therefore ask the English Federation to kindly remove the loads that me is accused. And I repeat, I am neither anti-Semitic nor racist."

Earlier today Anelka had previously posted a video of Mr. Cukierman on his Twitter profile, in which he said that the quenelle gesture could only be deemed anti-semitic if performed on a Jewish site.

Anelka has until Thursday to respond to the FA charge, 'and is 'considering his options', according to a statement from West Brom.

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Topics:
Nicolas Anelka
Premier League
West Bromwich Albion
Football

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