24 Jan 2014

Anelka denies anti-Semitic gesture charge

11:16 am on 24 January 2014

The West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka has denied an English Football Associaion charge brought against him for performing an anti-Semitic gesture after scoring against West Ham.

Anelka has requested a personal hearing with the FA and could face a minimum five-game ban.

The quenelle gesture drew criticism from political figures in France as it can be perceived as anti-Semitic.

Anelka had asked the FA to lift the charges, stating he was "neither anti-Semitic nor racist".

Anelka defended his actions as a gesture of support for performer Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, whom the French government has tried to ban from making the sign, and reasoned the action could be perceived as "anti-establishment" rather than discriminatory.