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Anelka defends 'Quenelle' gesture

Anelka was banned and fined for this gesture Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

Nicolas Anelka has come out to defend himself and deny he is anti-Semitic.

The French striker was handed a five-match ban and fined by the FA for the 'quenelle' goal celebration after scoring for West Bromwich Albion against West Ham on December 28.

The pose has been associated with religious intolerance in France.

The French comedian who invented the gesture, known as Dieudonne, has been convicted of anti-Semitic crimes seven times.

The commission which handed Anelka his punishment accepted there was no intent by the player to be anti-Semitic.

Anelka has told a french newspaper that the gesture had been 'badly interpreted' and was meant in support of his comedian friend.

The gesture shouldn't cause offence. It is condemnable in front of a synagogue, yes, just like all other bizarre signs that you could do in front of one, but that's all. In that case, to say it's a vulgar gesture, effectively, I agree with you.

There was no religious thought on my part. And I have never said that my gesture was against the system, simply that the gesture was. Again, I'm not racist, not anti-Semitic, and the quenelle was a simple tribute.

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FA to request Nicolas Anelka 'ban transfer'

The Football Association will seek to ensure Nicolas Anelka serves his 'quenelle' suspension wherever he goes next.

Nicolas Anelka Credit: PA

The 35-year-old former French international was given a five-match ban and fined £80,000 by the FA for the 'quenelle' gesture he made during his side's match against West Ham in December.

The FA will write to world governing body FIFA on Monday to ask that the five-match ban it imposed for the gesture is served by Anelka at whichever club he may choose to go to next, according to the Press Association.

The FA will also request that the punishment only be considered complete once the player has paid the £80,000 fine issued alongside the ban, and once he has completed an education course.

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WBA: Nicolas Anelka's Twitter termination was 'invalid'

West Bromwich Albion have said that it "notes Nicolas Anelka is unwilling to agree to the conditions set by it which may have enabled his suspension to be lifted and for him to resume training".

These conditions were, firstly, that the Club required Nicolas Anelka to apologise to it, its supporters, sponsors and the wider community for the impact and consequences of his gesture made on December 28 and secondly, that he accept a substantial fine.

Nicolas Anelka’s purported termination of his Premier League contract this evening via Social Media was invalid as this was not conducted under the correct legal process as required by his contract.

– WBA statement
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WBA give Anelka notice of contract 'termination'

West Bromwich Albion have written to Nicolas Anelka giving him "14 days’ notice of termination as required under his contract".

Nicolas Anelka Credit: PA Wire

A statement issued by the club said: "The Club considers the conduct of Nicolas Anelka on December 28, coupled with his purported termination on Social Media this evening, to be gross misconduct."

WBA: No official notice from "highly unprofessional" Nicolas Anelka

Anelka was banned for five matches for his use of the "quenelle" gesture Credit: PA Wire

West Bromwich Albion have released a statement saying they have not been formally told by Nicolas Anelka that he plans to quit the club with immediate effect.

Anelka announced on Twitter earlier today that he had decided to leave the club with immediate effect but West Brom say they have not been notified of this and have called his actions "highly unprofessional."

In a statement the club said:

"The Club confirms it has been continuing discussions with Nicolas Anelka and his advisers as part of its own internal enquiry into the gesture he made after scoring against West Ham United on December 28.

"Following the conclusion of the FA’s enquiry into the same incident, the Club had hoped to conclude its own investigations next week.

"The Club notes Nicolas Anelka’s comments on Twitter this evening (Friday). However, the club has received nothing formally regarding the termination of Nicolas Anelka’s contract from either him or his advisers.

"The Club regards the release of such a statement on Social Media as highly unprofessional and will make a further statement when appropriate."

Anelka was recently given a five-match ban for using the controversial 'quenelle' gesture in the 3-3 draw with West Ham in December.

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Nicolas Anelka announces he has left West Brom

Nicolas Anelka, who was recently given a five-match ban for using the controversial 'quenelle' gesture, has announced that he has left West Bromwich Albion with immediate effect.

The French striker tweeted his decision, writing in French: "Following discussions between the club and me, proposals have been made to me that I rejoined the group under certain conditions that I can not accept.

"Wishing to keep my integrity, I decided to terminate the contract binding me with West Bromwich Albion until 2014, with immediate effect," the statement concluded.

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FA will not appeal Nicolas Anelka's five match ban

Anelka was banned for five matches for his use of the "quenelle" gesture Credit: PA Wire

The FA has confirmed it will not appeal West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka's five match ban for his "quenelle" gesture.

Anelka made the sign, which some believe is anti-Semitic, during the 3-3 draw with West Ham in December.

The French striker denied his use of the sign was anti-Semitic and the commission's three-member panel agreed with him.

But the commission did rule that charges of Anelka using an abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper gesture, and that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief were proven.

The Frenchman was also fined £80,000 and ordered to complete a compulsory education course.

The FA says:

"The FA pressed the Commission at the original hearing to impose a suspension of greater than five matches.

"We do not consider there is a real prospect of successfully appealing to extend the sanction imposed."

Anelka's ban: full report released by FA

Nicolas Anelka has a five-match ban Credit: PA Wire

An Independent Regulatory Commission has today released the written reasons in the case of The FA versus Nicolas Anelka.

Both parties have seven days to consider any appeals, ending on Thursday 13 March 2014.

The Independent Regulatory Commission had previously found an aggravated breach of FA Rule E3 against Nicolas Anelka proven and issued a five-match suspension, a fine of £80,000, and that the player be ordered to complete a compulsory education course.

It follows his controversial 'quenelle' gesture in a match against West Ham in December. The player has always denied it was an anti-semitic gesture, instead saying it was a show of solidarity with a banned French comedian.

The full report can be read here.

West Brom suspends Nicolas Anelka following FA ban

Nicolas Anelka used the gesture during a 3-3 draw with West Ham Credit: PA Wire

West Bromwich Albion say they have suspended Nicolas Anelka following the FA's decision to ban him for five matches and fine him £80,000 for the use of the controversial 'quenelle' gesture.

In a statement, the club said:

"WBA treats very seriously any allegation which includes any reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion and/or belief. Upon both charges being proven the Club has suspended Nicolas Anelka pending the conclusion of the FA’s disciplinary process and the Club’s own internal investigation.

"The Club acknowledges that the FA panel ‘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’. However, the Club cannot ignore the offence that his actions have caused, particularly to the Jewish community."

Anelka still has the right to appeal the decision.

"A welcome outcome": Anelka's match ban and fine

Vivian Wineman, the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, describes this as "highly offensive to Jews and right-minded members of the public."

Simon Johnson, a former FA executive who is now chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, added:

The conviction of Nicolas Anelka is a welcome outcome. It demonstrates that the FA's processes are robust enough to deal with the most pernicious of racism cases.

– Simon Johnson, Jewish Leadership Council
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