| 13.2°C Dublin

Anelka pleads for hearing to argue case

Close

NICOLAS ANELKA has requested a personal hearing after denying that his "quenelle" gesture at West Ham was anti-Semitic or racist.

The Football Association has confirmed West Brom striker Anelka is to argue his case at a forthcoming Commission hearing, although no date has yet been scheduled.

Anelka was charged by the FA on January 21 with making a gesture which was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper after scoring during Albion's 3-3 draw at Upton Park on December 28.

The FA further alleged it to be an aggravated breach, in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief.

The Frenchman faces a potential five-match ban at least if found guilty.

A statement from the FA read: "Nicolas Anelka has today replied to a charge in relation to an incident that occurred during the West Ham United versus West Bromwich Albion fixture at the Boleyn Ground on 28 December 2013.

"Anelka, the West Bromwich Albion player, has denied the charge and requested a personal hearing."

The case is a minefield for the FA as it is mired in French politics and beliefs, resulting in them hiring an independent expert to assess the symbolism of the 'quenelle' before laying down the charge.

 

SALUTE

The man behind the salute, French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, believes Anelka should be allowed to continue to perform the gesture as it signifies his liberation from slavery.

Dieudonne, a friend of Anelka's, has strongly denied the gesture has any anti-Semitic or racist connotations, and instead is effectively an 'up yours' to the French establishment.

Dieudonne said: "The 'quenelle' salute, it's simply a salute. In France it means simply a gesture against the system, and then after time it became a gesture of emancipation."

Performing the 'quenelle' by placing an upturned left hand across his right bicep, Dieudonne added: "That means liberation from a system, and it's because of that Nicolas Anelka did it.

"It's a gesture against submission to a system, a gesture belonging to the descendants of slaves who say 'Stop. It's done. I'm done'."


Privacy