Nicolas Anelka asks English Football Association to drop charge for 'quenelle' gesture
West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka has requested that the English Football Association drop charges against him related to the Frenchman's controversial "quenelle" goal celebration, a gesture which has anti-Semitic and racist connotations.
The "quenelle" gesture, which is a sort of upside-down Nazi salute, is the trademark of French comedian Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, a friend of Anelka's. The comedian refers to the "quenelle" as an anti-establishment symbol, but his links to anti-Semitism have drawn the ire of the French government, which has attempted to clamp down on Dieudonné's performances.
Anelka -- who made the gesture after scoring against West Ham last month -- claimed he did it in support of the comedian.
If convicted by the FA, Anelka will receive a minimum five-match ban. He was officially charged on Tuesday.
West Bromwich Albion's Nicolas Anelka has been charged following an incident in their game with West Ham Utd: http://t.co/wju3hdM8oc — The FA (@FA) January 21, 2014