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Anelka hearing into 'quenelle' gesture charge to start

Nicolas Anelka's disciplinary hearing into his 'quenelle' salute will begin today.

A three-man independent regulatory commission will hear the case which is expected to be completed by the end of the week.

Nicolas Anelka faces the prospect of a minimum five-match ban. Credit: PA Wire

The 34-year-old striker was charged by the Football Association after performing the gesture during West Brom's match against West Ham on December 28, but he has consistently denied suggestions the salute was anti-Semitic and requested a personal hearing.

The French striker faces a minimum five-match ban under the FA's new anti-discrimination rules if found guilty.

French 'quenelle' comedian banned from entering UK

Dieudonne M'bala M'bala pictured in 2009. Credit: Reuters

A controversial French comedian at the centre of the Nicolas Anelka anti-semitism row has been banned from entering the UK, the Home Office said.

Dieudonne M'bala M'bala previously announced he would visit London to support the West Bromwich Albion footballer, who faces a ban for performing the comic's "quenelle" salute on the pitch, which is believed by some to be an anti-semitic gesture.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that Mr Dieudonne is subject to an exclusion order. The Home Secretary will seek to exclude an individual from the UK if she considers that there are public policy or public security reasons to do so."

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

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.

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."

'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."

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."

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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.

Everton's Lukaku backs Anelka over 'quenelle' gesture

Everton have distanced themselves from on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku's defence of Nicolas Anelka and his use of the controversial 'quenelle' gesture.

The Belgium forward featured in a video interview posted on the Toffees' website in which he said there did not have to be "such a big deal" made about the West Brom player's actions. Anelka has since been charged over the gesture by the Football Association.

Romelu Lukaku gave his opinion of Anelka's actions after Monday night's game. Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

However, with comment growing on social media, Everton removed the footage when they became aware there was an issue.

"It is the player's opinion and not the opinion held by the football club," Everton's director of communications Alan Myers told Press Association Sport.

"We moved quickly to remove any interview that may have been offensive to anyone.

"The last thing we want to do is cause offence to anyone."

Press Association Sport reports that Everton's website is managed in collaboration with external partners, the interview, which took place after Everton's 1-1 draw at West Brom was conducted by another media organisation and uploaded without anyone at the club being fully aware of its content.

Anelka 'considering his options' after FA charge

West Brom insist striker Nicolas Anelka will remain available for selection while he considers his options after being charged by the Football Association over his controversial 'quenelle' goal celebration.

In a statement West Brom said there would be no action from them until the FA had concluded their disciplinary process.

Anelka has received a 34-page document explaining the allegations against him and informing him that he has until 6pm on Thursday to respond. The player is now considering his options.

Under FA rules, Anelka remains available for first-team selection until The FA's disciplinary process has reached its conclusion. Following this, the club will conclude its own internal enquiry.

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