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FA Anelka hearing underway

    Nicolas Anelka
    Nicolas Anelka

    The Football Association's long-awaited hearing into Nicholas Anelka's quenelle gesture is nearing the end of its first week.

    The West Bromwich Albion player performed the quenelle, a form of Nazi salute, during a Premier League match last December.

    The FA charged the player with making a gesture that was “abusive/ and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper.

    It also charged him with an “aggravated breach” of FA rules based on “ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief”.

    Anelka, who remains available for selection by his club, but is currently injured, will contest all the charges.

    He faces a minimum five-match ban if the charges are proved.

    The independent three-person commission hearing the case includes a barrister, one former player or manager, and an FA council member. Their identities have not been made public.

    The FA says it hopes the hearing will last only until the end of the week, but it could take longer.

    If Anelka appeals against the decision, a new commission would have to be formed to hear the evidence for a second time.

    Anelka has claimed that the gesture was a tribute to his friend, the antisemitic French comedian Dieudonne M'bala.

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