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

S

till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

tk421
F365's Transfer Guide - Part One

I

would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

godzilla
Reds and Arsenal chase Milner

W

ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

CamberleyGooner
The Back To It Gossip

Footer 365

Sepp Blatter announces he will resign as FIFA president

Sepp Blatter has announced he is to resign as president of FIFA and an election will be held to decide his successor.

Sepp Blatter to quit: Names in frame for FIFA top job

After FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced he will step down from the role, we look at the candidates to replace him.

Sepp Blatter to quit: Timeline leading to resignation of FIFA boss

We look back on the timeline of events which culminated in Sepp Blatter announcing his resignation as president of FIFA.

Mail Box

Liverpool 2015 Feels Like Liverpool 2011...

One Mailer says Benteke = Carroll, Bellamy = Milner and Clyne = Downing. Plus we have U21 Euro impatience, farewell Rio, Rafa Benitez, Milner, FIFA and title play-offs...

Calling Carlo For Liverpool... Please

One Liverpool Mailer wants a manager who isn't starstruck by the job. Plus why Milner has now become overrated, play-offs for the title, Ronaldinho and democracy..

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