Anelka set for month-long wait

The disciplinary hearing in which West Brom's Nicolas Anelka will defend his 'quenelle' gesture looks set to take place in late February.

Last Updated: 25/01/14 at 12:24 Post Comment

Nicolas Anelka (centre): Likely to face hearing in late February

Nicolas Anelka (centre): Likely to face hearing in late February

More of the games that matter

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

The French striker has been charged by the Football Association with an aggravated offence following his goal celebration in the Premier League clash at West Ham on December 28.

The 34-year-old has denied the charge and requested a personal hearing, but that is not likely to be held for a month.

The length of time the case has taken has already prompted criticism from anti-discrimination group Kick It Out, which has expressed its "frustration".

However, the Anelka case is comparable with the racist abuse charges that were brought against Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Chelsea's John Terry, and in both of those cases, there was a space of several weeks between the players denying the charge and the hearing taking place.

That is expected to be a similar scenario with French striker Anelka, who was this week presented with a 34-page document outlining the details of the charge.

The FA will appoint a three-person independent regulatory commission to hear the case, and as it has taken more than three weeks to bring the charge, Anelka's legal team will be permitted a similar length of time to construct his defence.

A further week to allow for administrative details to be organised, plus legal arguments between both sides' barristers, means that the end of February looks the likely time-scale for the hearing to start.

On Wednesday, Anelka asked the FA to drop the charge, stating he was "neither anti-Semitic, nor racist".

The former Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Liverpool forward faces a minimum five-match ban if the charge is proved, and probably longer.

West Brom have asked Anelka not to repeat the celebration but will continue to select him for the team.

Anelka made the gesture, described by some as an inverted Nazi salute, after scoring in the 3-3 draw at Upton Park.

Afterwards, France's sports minister Valerie Fourneyron branded the salute as "disgusting."

The player however has insisted it was purely as a show of support for the creator of the quenelle, his friend the controversial French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala who has been prosecuted for anti-Semitism.

Anelka has said the salute was "anti-establishment", rather than anti-Semitic.

More of the games that matter

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

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

ell that really inspires me with confidence. No point in training, deciding on a coherent formation, or playing players in their best positions, let's just hope we get lucky.

mumbo_jimbo
Van Gaal: Luck is key

I

believe this is because for sepp Christmas is a 7 day feast finishing on the 25th

hiya
Blatter calls for early final

F

alcao really needs to shine now. Apparently according to the stats, he scores more when played up front alone. I wonder if Van Gaal will actually apply a formation to get the best out of him though.

anthracyte
Van Persie lay-off expected

Footer 365

Mark Hughes angered by officials in Stoke win over Hull

Mark Hughes was pleased with Stoke's 1-0 win over Hull but angered after the officials missed a challenge on Stephen Ireland.

Sean Dyche downbeat after Burnley lose to Swansea defeat at Turf Moor

Burnley boss Sean Dyche says his side must start turning performances into wins after losing 1-0 to Swansea at Turf Moor.

Jonas Gutierrez wants top-10 finish for Newcastle after return

Jonas Gutierrez has targeted a top-10 finish with Newcastle after returning to the squad for the win against Aston Villa.

Mail Box

Are Tottenham Right To Redevelop?

It's a really good Friday afternoon Mailbox, with thoughts on Spurs' ground development, the Europa league (leave it alone) and one man running for a very good cause...

Rodgers Is More Of A Paisley Than A Rafa

Most Liverpool fans in the Mailbox are claiming to be pleased to see the back of the Europa League. Plus merging the Europa and Champions League, and winter WC...

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