Samir Nasri and Mamadou Sakho the latest footballers to be caught up in anti-Semetic gesture

Samir Nasri and Mamadou Sakho caught up in 'quenelle' gesture controversy

Photographs have emerged of Manchester City’s Samir Nasri and Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho performing the controversial gesture which has landed Nicolas Anelka in hot water.

West Bromwich Albion striker Anelka was condemned as racist by Valérie Fourneyron, the French Sports Minister, for performing the 'quenelle' after scoring against West Ham United on Saturday, something which the former French international vehemently denies. He has insisted it merely a tribute to his friend, French comedian Dieudonné M’bala, that had been misinterpreted.

Dieudonné is a controversial figure in France, where he has been convicted six times of defamation, causing offence and inciting racial hatred and has been fined a total of £53,400. He is attributed with creating the ‘quenelle’ gesture.

Now pictures of Nasri and Sakho performing the gesture have emerged.

The City midfielder was pictured outside the Carrington training ground last November performing the gesture with a friend, though he has insisted he was unaware of the anti-Semitic or political connotations of the gesture and is thought to have performed the act because of its popularity among people in his native France.

Sakho too has pleaded ignorance and said that he was conned into performing the gesture.

“This photo was taken six months ago, I did not know the meaning of this gesture. I was tricked."

Both pictures have been circulated on social media since the furore over Anelka’s goal celebration at the weekend.

The Football Association have confirmed they are investigating Anelka's gesture and the West Brom striker is facing a possible five-match ban.

Declan Whooley