Nicolas Anelka suspended by West Brom

West Bromich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka has been suspended by the club after he was banned for five games and fined £80,000 for his “quenelle” gesture by the Football association.

The club issued a statement just hours after the ban to confirm they had suspended the French striker pending an internal investigation.
“West Bromwich Albion treats very seriously any such allegation which includes any reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion and/or belief. Upon both charges being proven, the Club has suspended Nicolas Anelka pending the conclusion of the FA’s disciplinary process and the Club’s own internal investigation,” the statement read.
Anelka has also been ordered to complete a compulsory education course, following the completion of a two-day FA hearing.

The striker, who made the gesture after scoring in West brom’s 2-2 draw with West ham in December, denied his use of the sign, described as an “inverted Nazi salute”, was anti-Semitic.

Anelka has seven days from the receipt of written reasons for his punishment to decide if he will appeal the ruling,the ban and fine are suspended until the outcome of any appeal.

The independent commission released a statement on the FA website today in which they saidthat the two charges Anelka faced – that the gesture was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper, and that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief – were both found proved.
The FA said: “An independent regulatory commission has found an aggravated breach of FA rule E3 against Nicolas Anelka proven and has issued a five-match suspension and a fine of £80,000, pending appeal.”
The commission added it was their finding that Anelka had not been deliberately anti-Semitic.
The commission statement said: “So far as the basis for our finding on Charge 2 is concerned, we did not find that Nicolas Anelka is an anti-Semite or that he intended to express or promote anti-Semitism by his use of the quenelle.”