West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka will face a Football Association disciplinary hearing next week in defence of his 'quenelle' gesture.

A three-man FA Panel made up of a FA council member, a former player/manager and QC (Queens Counsel), will decide the fate of the French striker. If found guilty, Anelka faces, a minimum five-match ban under new FA racism rules.

The gesture is seen as a derivative of the Nazi salute, and a promotion of anti-semitism.

Anelka has vehemently denied claims that the gesture was racist, but instead anti-establishment and in support of his friend Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala.

M'Bala M'Bala himself is a controversial character, and has be prosecuted for anti-semitism in France in the past. Dieudonne has also been banned from French television and is now unable to enter the UK due to a exclusion order made by the Home Office.

The investigation into Anelka's case has dragged on, with little action taken since the gesture was made in late December during a league match against West Ham.

Even if the 34-year-old were to be found guilty, the player could still appeal the decision, requiring another hearing, and further delaying the execution of justice.

Anelka has brought in his own legal team after being denied help from his club West Brom.

The gesture has caused a stir around West Bromwich Albion, who saw housing giants Zoopla's Jewish owner pull the plug on their shirt sponsorship after the gesture was made.

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