Anelka agrees not to repeat 'anti-semitic' gesture

Nicolas Anelka has agreed not to perform a controversial goal celebration again which was widely considered anti-semitic in France, a statement released by his club West Bromwich Albion said

Anelka agrees not to perform controversial celebration

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

Nicolas Anelka has agreed not to perform a controversial goal celebration again which was widely considered as anti-semitic in France, a statement released by his club West Bromwich Albion said.

It said: "The club fully acknowledges that Nicolas’ goal celebration has caused offence in some quarters and has asked Nicolas not to perform the gesture again. Nicolas immediately agreed to adhere to this request."

Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri has also apologised "for causing any hurt to anyone" after a picture emerged of him appearing to make the quenelle gesture.

He said it had "absolutely nothing to do with being anti-semitic".

Visit ITV Sport to read his apology in full.

Nicolas Anelka defends goal celebration

Nicolas Anelka has taken to Twitter to defend his controversial goal celebration in a Premier League match yesterday, saying it had nothing to do with religion and was not racist.

West Brom striker Anelka, who made the "quenelle" gesture after scoring against West Ham, tweeted: "I am neither racist nor anti-Semitic."

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Signification de quenelle: anti-système. Je ne sais pas ce que le mot religion vient faire dans cette histoire !

He added: "The meaning of quenelle is anti-system. I do not know what religion has to do with this story.

"With regard to the ministers who give their own interpretations of my quenelle, they are the ones that create confusion and controversy without knowing what it really means. I ask people not to be duped by the media."

The Football Association are investigating the gesture, which is considered by some in France as being anti-Semitic.

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French Minister for Sport condemns Anelka gesture

France's Minister for Sport Valerie Fourneyron hit out at West Bromwich player Nicolas Anelka for making a gesture that has associations with anti-semitism in France. Writing on Twitter, she said:

"Anelka's gesture is a shocking and disgusting provocation. Anti-semitism or incitement to hatred has no place on the football field."

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Le geste d'Anelka est une provocation choquante, écoeurante. Pas de place pour antisémitisme et incitation à la haine sur terrain de foot

France considering banning comedian for gesture

France's interior minister Manuel Valls said his department are looking for ways to ban comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala for repeatedly making the gesture Jewish rights groups have branded the "Nazi salute in reverse."

Dieudonne has been fined several times for hate speech, but he says the gesture stands for anti-Zionism and anti-establishment. In a statement, Valls said:

Dieudonne M’bala M’bala doesn’t seem to recognize any limits any more. From one comment to the next, as he has shown in several television shows, he attacks the memory of Holocaust victims in an obvious and unbearable way.

Read: La Quenelle: Controversial gesture investigated by the FA

'La Quenelle': Controversial gesture investigated by FA

Nicholas Anelka is being investigated by the FA after he made a gesture widely viewed as anti-semitic in France during goal celebrations in Upton Park today.

Read: FA investigating 'anti-semitic' gesture claims

The gesture involves pointing one straightened arm downward whilst touching that arm's shoulder with the opposite hand, and has been condemned by Jewish groups as a "Nazi salute in reverse."

The gesture was invented by Anelka's friend and controversial French comedian Dieudonne.

It is defended as being anti-establishment but authorities are considering banning it in France and French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said he is considering banning performances by the comedian altogether.

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FA investigating 'anti-semitic' gesture claims

The Football Association says it is investigating claims that West Bromwich player Nicolas Anelka made an anti-Semitic gesture during the Baggies' 3-3 draw at West Ham today.

Kick It Out, the campaign against racism in football said it was also aware of the case.

"The campaign is in contact with partners in England and France regarding this matter and has offered its support to The Football Association in any forthcoming investigation," a spokesperson for the organisation said.

West Brom player 'surprised' at anti-semitic claims

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

West Brom head coach Keith Downing has said forward Nicolas Anelka is surprised by claims his goal celebration during the Baggies' 3-3 draw at West Ham was an anti-Semitic gesture.

The 34-year-old returned to the West Brom side for the first time in over two months and scored a brace in an entertaining Barclays Premier League game in which both sides came from behind.

Anelka seemingly performed the 'quenelle' salute, made famous by French comedian Dieudonne and linked to anti-Semitism in his homeland, but Downing said the striker was merely paying homage to his friend.