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Anelka will serve his ban in full, FA insist

    The Football Association expects Nicolas Anelka to serve his five-match ban if he signs for Brazilian club Atlético Mineiro.

    The player was suspended and fined £80,000 for performing an antisemitic gesture during a Premier League match but was sacked by his former club, West Bromwich Albion, for gross misconduct before he could serve the ban.

    This week, Alexandre Kalil, the president of Atlético Mineiro, tweeted that the former French international was joining his club.

    The FA said it would inform the Brazilian football association in writing of the outstanding ban and ask that it be enforced.

    The FA had applied to the football’s world governing body, FIFA, to extend the ban to apply in all countries but the request was rejected.

    However, the FA is confident existing FIFA regulations are sufficient to ensure the ban is applied.

    Anelka’s transfer to the winners of the South American Copa Libertadores has not yet been officially confirmed and the FA says it has not been asked by the Brazilian football association for the player’s international transfer certificate, a document that is required if he is to play in Brazil.

    An FA spokesman would not comment on the suggestion that the certificate could be withheld if there was any doubt the player would serve the ban.

    Anelka received his punishment from an independent FA commission after performing the quenelle — a form of Nazi salute — during a goal celebration.

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