Anelka's damaging lack of judgement

West Bromwich's Nicolas Anelka has shown a damaging lack of judgement by using the "quenelle" gesture and could face an eight-match ban.

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West Midlands derby clash: Aston Villa v West Brom

West Bromwich Albion's Gareth McAuley (left) and Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor battle for the ball Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

West Bromwich Albion will take the short trip to Villa Park tonight as they take on Aston Villa in the Premier League's West Midlands derby clash.

The last four meetings between the sides have ended as draws so there is everything to play for tonight.

Villa and West Brom have both picked up just the one point in their last two Premier League matches.

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WBA's Anelka denies FA charge over 'quenelle' gesture

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Albion can confirm that Nicolas Anelka has denied an FA charge and requested a personal hearing.

Nicolas Anelka has formally denied an FA charge following his controversial "quenelle' gesture, made during a Premier League match against West Ham.

The FA has charged Anelka with making a gesture that was "abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper."

Anelka's club, West Brom, have confirmed the 34-year-old has also requested a personal hearing.

The striker is facing a five match ban, unless he can prove his case.

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Lukaku apologises over Nicolas Anelka comments

Romelu Lukaku has apologised for any offense caused following his comments about Nicolas Anelka's use of a 'quenelle' gesture.

The 20-year-old Belgium striker, who is currently on loan at Everton, said in an interview prior to Anelka's FA charge: "He was my idol as a kid and he still is.

Everton's Romelu Lukaku (right) and West Bromwich Albion's Nicolas Anelka. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

"I don't think he should be banned for that, he was just supporting a comedian in France. We don't have to make such a big deal about it."I hope he doesn't get suspended because he is a player people want to play on the pitch."

The evertontv interview was later removed from the club website and today Lukaku said in a statement: "I want to make clear that I was supporting a friend and player I have admired since I was a child.

"I apologise if I caused any offence with my comments as this was never my intention."There has been a misunderstanding and I want to clarify that I was in no way endorsing the gesture made by Nicolas."

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'Quenelle' comedian: Neither Anelka or I are racist

The controversial French comedian who first used the 'quenelle' gesture used by Nicolas Anelka has said the footballer is his "brother in humanity".

Controversial comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala. Credit: Reuters

Speaking for the first time since the Anelka incident to Sky News Dieudonne M'bala M'bala said he was not racist or anti-Semitic and neither was the West Bromwich Albion player.

He said: "Nicolas Anelka has all my support, that's evident. I consider him a brother in humanity. He's someone who is very courageous and for whom I have very much respect and admiration."

'La Quenelle': Controversial gesture explained

Watch: Top French court stops 'anti-Semitic' comedian's show

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Nicolas Anelka loses support from French Jewish leader

West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka has lost the support of the French Jewish leader he cited when defending his use of the controversial "quenelle" gesture.

West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka. Credit: Stephen Pond/PA Wire

The former France international is facing at least a five match ban if the Football Association decides his goal celebration was a racially aggravated breach of its rules.

Anelka responded to the FA's charge by highlighting how the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions said the gesture was not offensive because it was not performed in front of a Jewish site or Holocaust memorial.

However, Roger Cukierman has now said the gesture is "an inversed Hitler salute" and he was "troubled" Anelka dedicated the "quenelle" to French performer Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, "whose own motives are incontestably anti-Semitic."

He added: "I was disappointed by Anelka's attitude, whose behavior is the opposite of that which should be shown by a top-class athlete to the youths of our country."

Read: Nicolas Anelka's damaging lack of judgement

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Nicolas Anelka has until tonight to appeal FA charge

The West Brom striker faces a minimum five-match ban if found guilty of making an "abusive" sign
The West Brom striker faces a minimum five-match ban if found guilty of making an "abusive" sign Credit: Stephen Pond/PA

West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka has until 6pm tonight (23 January) to respond to an FA charge following his controversial "quenelle" gesture during a Premier League match against West Ham.

The FA has charged Anelka with making a gesture that was "abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper."

The minimum suspension for the charge is five matches but the FA can increase it if they see fit.

Read: Anelka asks FA to life "quenelle" charges

Read: what exactly is the "quenelle" gesture?

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Nicolas Anelka asks FA to lift 'quenelle' charge

West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka has called on the Football Association to lift its "quenelle" gesture charge.

West Bromwich Albion's Nicolas Anelka. Credit: Stephen Pond/PA Wire

In a statement on his Facebook page, Anelka repeated that he was "not anti-Semitic or a racist."

He also called on the FA to hire an expert who "is French [or is] living in France" and "may have an accurate knowledge of my actions" to help English football's governing body in deciding whether his gesture was anti-Semitic.

Read: Anelka could face at least five match ban

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