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Big UEFA ban for 'quenelle'

UEFA has handed a 10-game ban to a player who made a 'quenelle' gesture during a futsal tournament in Belgium.

Last Updated: 07/03/14 at 16:19 Post Comment

Action from the UEFA Futsal Euro 2014 tournament

Action from the UEFA Futsal Euro 2014 tournament

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Belgian Omar Rahou committed the offence a number of times during the UEFA Futsal Euro 2014 event, which was staged in Antwerp during January and February.

This follows on from last week's decision by the Football Association to suspend Nicolas Anelka for five games for making the same salute during West Brom's Premier League game at Upton Park in December.

The 'quenelle' is viewed as anti-Semitic in France, with UEFA deeming it serious enough to make it a minimum 10-game ban and describing it as a discriminatory offence.

A statement from Europe's governing body reads: "The fight against racism and other discriminatory behaviour is a high priority for UEFA.

"We have a zero-tolerance policy towards racism and discrimination on the pitch and in the stands."

England's Football Association and world governing body FIFA have a minimum punishment of five games.

FA chairman Greg Dyke has already said that they will decide whether to seek a longer punishment for Anelka whose sentence was decided by an independent regulatory commission.

The FA were due to receive a report on the commission's reasons for giving Anelka the five-game ban on Monday, after which a decision on whether to appeal would be made.

As for Anelka, he has seven days to consider whether to appeal against his five-match ban after receiving the full written reasons from the independent regulatory commission that imposed the suspension.

The commission accepted there was no intent by the striker to be anti-Semitic but under strict liability rules, he was found guilty of an aggravated offence.

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