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FA investigates Nicolas Anelka over "Nazi salute" goal celebration

    Nicolas Anelka
    Nicolas Anelka

    The Football Association is investigating the West Bromwich Albion player Nicolas Anelka over his alleged antisemitic goal celebration.

    Anelka performed a "quenelle", a gesture that has been described as a "reverse Nazi salute", after scoring in his club's 3-3 draw with West Ham.

    Anelka said later he was paying tribute to the controversial French comedian, Dieudonné.

    He tweeted: "This gesture was just a special dedication to my comedian friend Dieudonné,"

    The FA has confirmed it is investigating the incident.

    The French minister for sport, Valérie Fourneyron, described Anelka's action as "disgusting" and "a shocking provocation".

    She tweeted: "There's no place for antisemitism and incitement to hatred on the football field."

    Dr Moshe Kantor, the president of the European Jewish Congress, called on the Premier League to ban Anelka.

    “This salute is merely a lesser known Nazi salute and we expect the same kind of punishment to be handed down," he said.

    “It is sickening that such a well-known footballer would make such an abusive and hateful gesture in front of tens of thousands of spectators.

    “There should be no room for such intolerance and racism in sports and we expect that the English Premier League officials as well as the police will give Anelka the appropriate punishment.”

    West Bromwich Albion's caretaker manager Keith Downing refused to condemn the French striker.

    Dieudonné has been accused in the past of making insulting remarks about the Holocaust. The comedian insists his trademark quenelle gesture denotes his anti-Zionist and anti-establishment views, rather than antisemitism.

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