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Nicolas Anelka in FA probe over alleged anti-Semitic gesture

Updated: Saturday, 28 Dec 2013 20:44 | Comments

Nicolas Anelka says salute was "special dedication" to his friend
Nicolas Anelka says salute was "special dedication" to his friend

The English FA is to investigate an alleged anti-Semitic gesture made by West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka during Saturday's 3-3 Premier League draw at West Ham United.

An FA spokesman said the organisation would be launching a probe after Anelka's actions provoked widespread criticism.

The former France striker marked the first of his two goals against West Ham with an apparent "quenelle" hand signal made famous by French comedian Dieudonne that is linked to anti-Semitism.

After the game, West Brom caretaker manager Keith Downing said Anelka had been "surprised" by the resulting outcry, while the player tonight claimed the salute had simply been made as a "special dedication" to his friend.

"This gesture was just a special dedication to my comedian friend Dieudonne," he tweeted in both French and English on his official account.

However, the French minister for sport Valerie Fourneyron had earlier condemned the gesture on Twitter, describing it as "shocking" and "disgusting".

She wrote: "Anelka's gesture is a shocking provocation, disgusting. There's no place for anti-Semitism and incitement to hatred on the football field."

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