Hull City player fined for praising Anelka’s quenelle
PHOTO: PA Yannick Sagbo: out of pocket by £15,000
The Football Association has fined Hull City striker Yannick Sagbo £15,000 after he tweeted support for Nicolas Anelka’s infamous quenelle gesture.
Sagbo will also be forced to take part in an education programme as punishment for claiming Anelka was a “legend” when he performed the antisemitic sign.
The Ivorian admitted an aggravated breach of the FA’s rules relating to improper conduct on social media postings at an independent commission hearing on Tuesday.
He had been charged with making a comment that was “abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper”, with “a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief”.
Sagbo posted the tweet hours after Anelka performed the gesture — a form on Nazi salute — while playing for West Bromwich Albion in a Premier League match last December.
Hull had previously promised to “vigorously defend” their player, who scored in the club’s FA Cup semi-final win at Wembley Stadium earlier this month, but Sagbo is not expected to appeal against the FA’s punishment.
Neither he nor the club have commented on the commission’s ruling.
l Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro have decided not to sign Anelka after the player attended a religious conference in Kuwait instead of reporting to the club.
Atletico director Eduardo Maluf said: “He had the obligation to let us know about this in advance. The deal is off.”
Atletico says it is looking into the possibility of launching a formal complaint with international football body Fifa, claiming it is the third occasion the footballer has failed to report to the club.
Anelka has been searching for a new club since March when West Bromwich Albion fired him for gross misconduct after he was handed a five-match ban for performing the quenelle gesture. The FA had said it expected the Brazilian club to enforce the ban had Anelka signed.