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Five-match ban for Anelka

Nicolas Anelka has been banned for five games and fined £80,000 after being found guilty of aggravated misconduct over his 'quenelle' gesture.

Last Updated: 27/02/14 at 17:45

Nicolas Anelka: The West Brom striker can appeal the commission's decision

Nicolas Anelka: The West Brom striker can appeal the commission's decision

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An independent regulatory commission ruled the West Brom striker was guilty of breaching the Football Association's code of conduct when he celebrated a goal at West Ham in December by making the gesture.

And the panel upheld the FA's charge that his rule breach "included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief."

Anelka has been ordered to attend an education programme and will miss games against Manchester United, Swansea, Hull, Cardiff and Norwich at a time when Albion are fighting relegation from the Premier League.

A five-match suspension is the minimum penalty for aggravated misconduct, and the 34-year-old has seven days to appeal once the commission's written reasons for the decision have been published.

The 'quenelle' gesture, popularised by a French comedian and friend of Anelka, has been linked with anti-Semitism by some French politicians.

But the commission made it clear it "did not find that Nicolas Anelka is an anti-Semite or that he intended to express or promote anti-Semitism by his use of the quenelle."

And Anelka has always maintained his actions were "anti-establishment" rather than motivated by race or religion.

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I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

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