I am not anti-semitic or racist – Anelka
Nicolas Anelka has called on the Football Association to drop its charge against him over his 'quenelle' goal celebration – but prospects of him citing a prominent French Jew in his defence have been dimmed.
West Brom frontman Anelka is facing a minimum five-match ban after being charged by the FA with performing an alleged anti-Semitic gesture during his club's match against West Ham on December 28.
The striker insisted he was neither "anti-Semitic or racist" and believed he had the backing of a Jewish community leader in the battle to clear his name. However Roger Cukierman, the president of CRIF (Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France), who initially appeared to have sided with the 34-year-old, later said he considered Anelka's behaviour "clearly suspect."
Anelka has until 6.0 today to formally respond to the FA charge.
The quenelle has been described as an inverted Nazi salute and was created by French comedian Dieudonne, who has been prosecuted for anti-Semitism. Anelka is a friend of Dieudonne's and has insisted his salute was a gesture of support, aimed at the French establishment.