Anelka agrees not to perform "Nazi salute" again

Nicolas Anelka

Nicolas Anelka

Footballer Nicolas Anelka has promised he will not use the “quenelle” gesture in future.

The West Bromwich Albion player sparked controversy after performing the gesture, which has been described as a "reverse Nazi salute", as part of a goal celebration.

He claimed he acted in support of his friend, the controversial French anti-Israel comedian, Dieudonne M’bala M’bala. The quenelle is strongly associated with Mr M'bala and has even trademarked by him as part of his comedy acts.

But, following widespread criticism, and the launch of a Football Association investigation, West Bromwich Albion have acknowledged that the gesture caused offence, and that Anelka has agreed to a request not to display it again.

According to a club statement: “Upon reporting for training on Monday morning, Nicolas was asked by sporting director Richard Garlick to give a full explanation about his goal celebration, during which he again strongly denied intending to cause offence.

"The club fully acknowledges that Nicolas' goal celebration has caused offence in some quarters and has asked Nicolas not to perform the gesture again. Nicolas immediately agreed to adhere to this request."

Until now the quenelle, which literally means a type of fish or meat dumpling in French, was virtually unknown in the UK. However, according to French football journalist, Phillipe Auclair, it is the subject of “fierce controversy” in France , with French Jews in particular regarding its use as a sign of increasing antisemitism in the country.

Last updated: 5:53pm, December 30 2013