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Nicolas Anelka asks English Football Association to drop charge for 'quenelle' gesture

Nicolas Anelka Nicolas Anelka has said his "quenelle" goal celebration was not anti-Semitic. (AFP Photo/Ian Kington)

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.

Anelka claimed Wednesday in a post on his Facebook page that he is not anti-Semitic and that the FA's investigation has been illegitimate, according to BBC Sport.

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.

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