Skip to main content

Nicolas Anelka handed 5-match ban and fined for 'quenelle' gesture

February 27, 2014 -- Updated 1859 GMT (0259 HKT)
Nicolas Anelka has been handed a five-game ban by the English Football Association.
Nicolas Anelka has been handed a five-game ban by the English Football Association.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • EPL player handed five-game ban and fined for gesture by English FA
  • Anelka denied charges that gesture he made was "abusive, indecent or insulting"
  • FA Regulatory Commission "did not find Nicolas Anelka is an anti-Semite"
  • "Quenelle" popularized by controversial French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala

(CNN) -- French soccer star Nicolas Anelka has been given a five-match ban and fined £80,000 ($130,000) by the English Football Association (FA) for making a "quenelle" gesture in a game last year.

The West Bromwich Albion striker was charged by the FA on January 21 after making the gesture in an English Premier League match against West Ham United on December 28.

The "quenelle" which involves pointing a straightened arm downwards while touching the shoulder of that arm with the other hand, is believed by some to be a Nazi salute in reverse and has been linked with anti-Semitism in Anelka's homeland.

An Independent Regulatory Commission was asked to consider if the gesture was "abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper," and "included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief."

Both charges were proved, said the commission, but it added it did not believe Anelka to be a racist.

"We did not find that Nicolas Anelka is an anti-Semite or that he intended to express or promote anti-Semitism by his use of the quenelle," the Regulatory Commission said in a statement.

In addition to the ban and fine, Anelka has been ordered to undertake a "compulsory education course," the FA said.

The 34-year-old, who denied the charges and asked for a personal hearing, commented on Twitter after the match that the gesture was "a dedication" to the French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala before adding: "I am neither racist nor anti-Semitic."

Known as Dieudonne, he has popularized the "quenelle" gesture in France and faces investigation by the Paris prosecutor's office for his controversial stand-up routine.

During a performance, he said of a prominent Jewish journalist: "Me, you see, when I hear Patrick Cohen speak, I think to myself: 'Gas chambers ... too bad (they no longer exist)."

Anelka has seven days to appeal the decision.

The Independent Regulatory Commission stated it will reveal how it arrived at its decision "in due course."

Read more: Anti-Semitism row shines light on fractured French society

Read more: West Brom lose sponsors over Anelka row

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT