Nicolas Anelka 'quenelle' latest: West Brom striker to respond to FA charge today after suffering setback in anti-Semitic allegation defence

Anelka had hoped that a prominent member of the French Jewish community would speak on his defence but his 'quenelle' gesture has been labelled as 'clearly suspect' by Roger Cukierman

Nicolas Anelka must formally respond to the Football Association by 6pm on Thursday over its charge for his 'quenelle' goal celebration - but prospects of him citing a prominent member of the French Jewish community in his defence have suffered a setback.

West Brom striker Anelka is facing a minimum five-match ban unless he can prove his case, after being charged by the FA with performing an alleged anti-Semitic gesture after scoring against West Ham on December 28.

The striker is set to contest the charge - he insists he is neither anti-Semitic nor racist and believed he had the backing of a Jewish community leader in the battle to clear his name.

However Roger Cukierman, the president of CRIF (Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France), who initially appeared to have sided with the 34-year-old, later said he considered Anelka's behaviour "clearly suspect".

The quenelle has been described as an inverted Nazi salute and was created by French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, who has been prosecuted for anti-Semitism. Anelka is a friend of Dieudonne's and the player has insisted his salute was a gesture aimed at the French establishment.

Cukierman said in a video interview with Le Figaro that the quenelle could not be regarded as anti-Semitic in the context it was performed in.

That prompted Anelka to write in a statement on his Facebook page: "I therefore ask the English FA to kindly remove the charge made against me. And I repeat, I am not anti-Semitic or racist."

In the video, Cukierman said the gesture only had anti-Semitic connotations if made in front of a synagogue or a memorial to the Holocaust.

He added: "When it's made in a place which is not specifically Jewish it seems to me that it's a slightly anarchic gesture of revolt against the establishment, which doesn't deserve severe sanctions."

But Cukierman clarified his position in a later interview, telling Paris-based radio station RMC: "The gesture conceived and realised by Dieudonne is anti-Semitic and the sympathy of Nicolas Anelka (for Dieudonne) is clearly suspect.

"I have no desire to be an expert in this matter."

The FA will appoint a three-man independent regulatory commission to hear the case.

Meanwhile, another two of West Brom's key sponsors, Jack Wolfskin and Holler watches, are considering withdrawing their backing from the club over the saga after primary shirt sponsor Zoopla, a property search engine, announced it would not be renewing its £3million contract at the end of the season.

 

PA

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star