Nicolas Anelka has protested his innocence on Twitter after being charged yesterday with making a racist gesture.
The FA have ruled that Anelka’s ‘quenelle’ gesture following his goals at West Ham United on 28 December had anti-semitic connotations and charged the experienced striker.
Anelka claimed immediately after the match that his gesture was one of anti-establishment aimed at the French government after his comedian friend Dieudonne M'bala M'bala had been banned from live performances.
The striker, who played 77 minutes in Albion’s draw against Everton on Monday night, took to Twitter initially after the game to thank the club and Albion’s fans for their support.
His post followed news from the club’s main sponsor Zoopla that they would not be renewing their contract with the Baggies when it finishes at the end of the season following Anelka’s actions.
He has since posted a video of Roger Cukierman, head of the Jewish organisation CRIF, who states that the ‘quenelle’ is only a racist gesture if performed on a religious site.
Anelka then issued a further statement calling the FA to lift the charge. He again insisted that he was “neither anti-Semitic nor racist” and questioned why the FA had failed to appoint somebody which knowledge of the gesture during their investigations.
A translation of this statement said: “It would have been legitimate that this expert is french, living in France, and that could have an exact knowledge of my gesture. What better expert than Mr. Cukierman, president of CRIF, which explains it very clearly that my quenelle could not be considered to be anti-Semitic!”
Anelka could face a minimum five game ban if found guilty by the FA.
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