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

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

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."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think Finnegans Wake would have been a better reference point than Ulysses. Far more rambling and incomprehensible.

debra2927
Football People On TV: Garth Crooks

I

f I recall correctly, Degsy predicted a 100/1 shot correctly the week after his 150/1 Blackpool 4 - 3 Bolton call. I stuck a fiver on it as an idle bet. Paid for a stag do in Munich. Heady days...

baldini
Backing Hull To Beat United 2-1...

R

odgers prefers Joe Allen to Lucas? If this is true then I'm setting aside a fortnight to finally learn the rules of American Football and I'll give up on real football.

godzilla
The Jammy Gossip

Footer 365

Louis van Gaal believes David De Gea will stay at Manchester United

Louis van Gaal believes David De Gea will stay at Manchester United despite speculation linking him with Real Madrid.

Gary Neville: Liverpool are in danger of becoming a provincial club

Liverpool are stuck in the mud and in danger of becoming a provincial club, according to Gary Neville.

Emmanuel Adebayor's Tottenham future to be talked over after season

Mauricio Pochettino says no decision has yet been made over striker Emmanuel Adebayor's future at White Hart Lane.

Mail Box

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

Don't Slate Sterling For Ambition...

Raheem Sterling deserves credit for his desire to quit Liverpool, according to one mailboxer. Also: why football should not be compared to business and Degsy's latest spot of bother...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company