St. Mary's Stadium

Next Game

Southampton v West Brom

Saturday, 23 August 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

The Hawthorns

Last Game

West Brom 2 - 2 S'land

Saturday, 16 August 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

FA to probe Anelka gesture

The Football Association is to investigate WBA striker Nicolas Anelka after his controversial gesture against West Ham.

Last Updated: 30/12/13 at 16:53

Nicolas Anelka: Is facing questions about his goal celebration

Nicolas Anelka: Is facing questions about his goal celebration

Bet £10 Get £30

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

The 34-year-old marked his return to West Brom's side with two goals, while Saido Berahino was also on target against the Hammers in the 3-3 draw at Upton Park.

But Anelka was forced to explain his goal celebration after he seemingly performed the 'quenelle' salute, made famous by French comedian Dieudonne and linked to anti-Semitism in his homeland.

The Frenchman tried to defend himself on Twitter, suggesting he was paying tribute to Dieudonne, a personal friend.

He tweeted: "This gesture was just a special dedication to my comedian friend Dieudonné."

The FA has confirmed it is launching an investigation.

The incident has caused a huge storm in France. French minister for sport Valerie Fourneyron condemned the gesture, describing it as "shocking" and "disgusting" through her official Twitter account.

She wrote: "Anelka's gesture is a shocking provocation, disgusting. There's no place for anti-Semitism and incitement to hatred on the football field."

A statement from anti-racism campaigners Kick It Out read: "The campaign is in contact with partners in England and France regarding this matter and has offered its support to the Football Association in any forthcoming investigation."

Richard Ferrer, of the Jewish News, told Sky Sports News: "Prior to this blowing up this afternoon it wasn't something I was familiar with. But after doing a little bit of research, the 'quenelle' - as it is known in France - is a reverse Nazi salute. The arm is upright and saluted in the infamous Nazi gesture. But this, as you saw, is arm down, with the other arm touching the shoulder.

"This is either a lack of awareness on Anelka's part, or something more sinister...he must be aware of the 'quenelle's meaning and the baggage it carries. Surely he was making a statement? It's a major concern for the Football Association."

European Jewish Congress president Moshe Kantor said: "This salute is merely a lesser known Nazi salute and we expect the same kind of punishment to be handed down by the authorities as if Anelka had made the infamous outstretched arm salute."

Dieudonne, who has past convictions for making anti-Semitic remarks, insists the 'quenelle' is merely "an anti-establishment gesture."

'La quenelle', is the subject of a fierce national debate in France that has reached the French interior ministry and stands accused of sparking a spate of attacks across Anelka's homeland.

West Brom head coach Keith Downing played down claims about the celebration and said anything else being read in to the display was "absolute rubbish".

"I'm aware of it but it has got nothing to do with what is being said," he said.

"It is dedicated to a French comedian he knows very, very well. He uses it in his act and I think speculation can be stopped now, it is absolute rubbish really.

"He is totally unaware of what the problems were or the speculation that has been thrown around, he is totally surprised by it."

Bet £10 Get £30

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

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

Y

es, these stats are right. Rio Ferdinand definitely had a better debut than Fernando.

that man
Top Ten Debutants From Opening Weekend...

I

know it's only one game, and Arsenal have got an amazing midfield as is; but seriously, is Arsene Wenger the only person on Earth who doesn't want Cesc at their club?

Ezy_Rider
Top Ten Debutants From Opening Weekend...

P

S - 'Squeezes [English] out of his mouth like it's an elastic band he's found in his lamb bhuna' - bravo. Marvellous stuff

Ezy_Rider
Football Managers On TV: Paul Lambert

Footer 365

Women's Football: England beat Wales 4-0 to make World Cup

England's women secured their place in the 2015 World Cup courtesy of an emphatic 4-0 victory over Wales in Cardiff.

Transfer News: QPR sign Eduardo Vargas from Napoli on loan

Queens Park Rangers have confirmed the signing of Eduardo Vargas from Napoli on a season-long loan deal.

Roy Hodgson says England youngsters should try their luck overseas in future

Roy Hodgson feels future generations of England stars would benefit from going overseas rather than being bit-part players at home.

Mail Box

Man United Fans Clutching At Straws

While the focus is on Liverpool's move for Mario Balotelli, one Man United fan tries to convince the mailbox with nine reasons why Angel Di Maria would prefer them to PSG...

Rojo Is A Better Signing Than Hummels

There's some big talk in the morning mailbox, which claims that Man United were right to sign Marcos Rojo instead of Mats Hummels. Plus, one Gooner's happy Arteta's out...

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