FA charges Anelka over 'quenelle' salute

Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:28am EST
 
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By Mike Collett

LONDON (Reuters) - The Football Association charged Nicolas Anelka on Tuesday for making a "quenelle" salute after scoring for West Bromwich Albion against West Ham United in the Premier League last month.

The gesture is widely regarded as being anti-Semitic and the FA charged the former France international under Rule E3 for "making an abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper gesture".

"It is further alleged that this is an aggravated breach, as defined in FA Rule E3 in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief," the FA said in a statement.

Anelka, 34, who has denied he used it in any derogatory way,

has until 1800 GMT on Thursday to respond to the charge which carries a minimum five-game ban.

West Brom said the player had received a 34-page document explaining the allegations against him.

"Under FA rules Anelka remains available for first-team selection until the FA's disciplinary process has reached its conclusion. Following this the club will conclude its own internal enquiry," Albion said in a statement.

Whether the FA find him guilty or not, the gesture has already had repercussions.   Continued...

 
Chelsea's Nicolas Anelka celebrates after scoring against Burnley during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London August 29, 2009. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez