Nicolas Anelka quenelle gesture: Disciplinary hearing into alleged anti-Semitic salute to begin with decision expected at end of the week

Anelka's gesture came after he scored in the 3-3 draw with West Ham on December 28

Nicolas Anelka's disciplinary hearing into his alleged anti-Semitic 'quenelle' salute is to start on Tuesday.

A three-man independent regulatory commission will hear the case which is expected to be completed by the end of the week.

West Brom's French striker faces a minimum five-match ban under the Football Association's new anti-discrimination rules if found guilty. Anelka has been charged by the FA with performing an alleged anti-Semitic gesture during his club's match against West Ham on December 28.

The 34-year-old has denied the salute was anti-Semitic and requested a personal hearing.

Anelka was charged last month with an aggravated offence after making a gesture that was judged to be "abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper".

The aggravated breach was that it included "a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief".

Anelka gestures as he celebrates scoring the second goal against West Ham Anelka gestures as he celebrates scoring the second goal against West Ham UEFA's French president Michel Platini said at the weekend the European body would take a "zero tolerance" approach to the quenelle adding that "any display of racism on a UEFA pitch will be sanctioned and penalised".

UEFA is dealing with a similar case with a gesture allegedly made by Belgian player Omar Rahou in a European futsal championship last month.

The quenelle has been described as an inverted Nazi salute and its invention has been credited to French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, a friend of Anelka's, who was been prosecuted in France for anti-Semitism.

Anelka maintains his goal celebration was an anti-establishment gesture in support of Dieudonne.

Last month, Dieudonne was banned from entering the UK after the Home Office made him subject to an exclusion order.

Read More:
Baggies prepare for life without Anelka ahead of hearing
'Quenelle' funnyman Dieudonné is banned from entering UK
Anelka: I am not anti-Semitic or racist

PA

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