Anelka's future uncertain

West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka may have played his last game after he was banned for five matches for performing the controversial 'quenelle' gesture.

Last Updated: 28/02/14 at 12:40

Anelka: Banned for five games by the FA and suspended by West Brom

Anelka: Banned for five games by the FA and suspended by West Brom

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

An independent regulatory commission banned the 34-year-old for five matches, fined him £80,000 and ordered him to attend an education course after ruling he did breach the Football Association's code of conduct by making the gesture at West Ham in December.

The 'quenelle' has been associated with anti-Semitism by some French politicians, and the panel also upheld the FA's charge that his rule breach "included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief".

Significantly, the ruling cleared Anelka of any anti-Semitic motivation, a part of the verdict which was welcomed by the player, had argues his gesture was anti-establishment, and done in support of his friend Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, the comedian who first brought the 'quenelle' to prominence.

This has not stopped West Brom suspending the 34-year-old pending the outcome of any appeal and the conclusion of their own internal investigation.

And with the Baggies having only 11 more matches to play this season, this could signal the end of the career of Anelka, whose contract with the club ends in the summer and has previously hinted at retirement.

Former FA chief executive Mark Palios believes the suspension will have an impact on Anelka's career and also acts as the chief deterrent against racism.

"At the top of the game it is difficult to impose a financial deterrent which is seen as reasonable when you consider the remuneration these guys get," Palios told Sky Sports News.

"The main deterrent is the extent of the suspension and the knock-on effect on Anelka's employment at his club. It is the impact on his career outside of the specifics of the case."

The five-match ban is the minimum that can be imposed for such an offence and while being welcomed by anti-racism groups it has also been criticised for not going far enough.

Palios believes the punishment will discourage the use of the 'quenelle' gesture in English football but says judgement should be reserved on whether the ruling is seen as a success for the FA's new anti-racism rules, which were introduced last year following criticism of the way the organisation handled cases involving Luis Suarez and John Terry.

If you look at this and the outcome; people will not make the gesture on the pitch, on the platform that is professional football in England, which is televised around the world," added Palios.

"I think it will only be determined a triumph when we see the written reasons and understand why they feel Anelka did not intend to make the gesture and yet found him guilty."

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Transfer news: Tottenham strike deal for Montpellier midfielder Benjamin Stambouli

Tottenham have agreed a fee with Montpellier for defensive midfielder Benjamin Stambouli, according to the French club.

Transfer news: Chelsea confirm agreement with AC Milan for two-year Fernando Torres loan

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres will have a medical at AC Milan on Saturday ahead of an agreed two-year loan deal.

Europa League: Roberto Martinez happy Everton start and finish at home

Roberto Martinez is happy with the way the fixtures have worked out for Everton in their tough Europa League draw.

Mail Box

Surely A Spurs Fan Should Remember...

...what happened to the fourth Champions League place the last time an English team won the thing. Plus, who would want to pay £60 to watch the current England team?

Ginger Pirlo? Don't Make Me Laugh...

A Sunderland fan in the mailbox is surprised by Jack Colback's call up to the England squad. Plus, thoughts on Welbeck and Liverpool's Champions League draw...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property