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Quenelle salute: French striker Anelka charged by Soccer-FA for salute

Nicolas Anelka was seen making the quenelle salute.
Nicolas Anelka was seen making the quenelle salute.AFP - Ian Kington

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, the Football Association charged Nicolas Anelka for making the alleged anti-Semitic "quenelle" salute after scoring a goal for West Bromwich Albion against West Ham United last month. Yahoo Sports reported that the striker for West Bromwich Albion could end up facing a lengthy ban over the gesture.

The Soccer-FA charged the former France international under Rule E3 for "making an abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper gesture."

"It is further alleged that this is an aggravated breach, as defined in FA Rule E3 in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief," the FA said in a statement.

The 34-year-old Anelka has denied any wrongdoing and says he did not use it in a derogatory way whatsoever. He has until 6:00 p.m. GMT on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, to respond to the charge. It is very possible that he could get the minimum of a five-game ban, but maybe even longer.

"Under FA rules Anelka remains available for first-team selection until the FA's disciplinary process has reached its conclusion. Following this the club will conclude its own internal enquiry," Albion said in a statement after receiving a 34-page document explaining the allegations.

Due to the situation that has happened with the quenelle salute allegations, it has already had an affect on West Brom.

Zoopla, a property market search engine co-owned by Jewish businessman Alex Chesterman, announced they would not be renewing their three million pounds ($4.93 million) Albion shirt sponsorship. It is set to expire at the end of the season and the reason for non-renewal is Anelka's actions.

The "quenelle" salute was made famous by French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, a friend of Anelka's. It stands as an anti-establishment salute.

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