Johannesburg, Mar 7 ANI | 10 months ago

The independent regulatory commission that banned West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka has reportedly said that the player could not be proven to have intentionally promoted anti-Semitism by performing a 'quenelle' salute.

Anelka was given banned for five games and handed a fine of 97,00 euros last week after making the gesture during his side's 3-3 draw at West Ham United in the Premier League in December.

According to Sport24, the FA revealed the reasons for its decision in a 35-page report, in which it stated that the 'quenelle' is 'strongly associated with anti-Semitism', although the commission said that it was not satisfied that Anelka intended to 'express or promote anti-Semitism by his use of the quenelle'.

Its report also revealed that the FA had unsuccessfully pushed for a stronger sanction than the mandatory minimum five-game ban.

The three-person commission revealed that it had studied performances and interviews given by French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, who was responsible for inventing the 'quenelle' salute - one arm straightened and pointed downwards, the other held across the chest.

The commission added 'on the evidence before them, they were not satisfied (to the requisite standard) that Anelka was or is an anti-Semite or that he intended to express or promote anti-Semitism by his use of the quenelle'.

The commission compared the case with Liverpool striker Luis Suarez's eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra in 2011, highlighting that whereas Suarez did so on at least five occasions, Anelka's was a one-off action.

(Posted on 07-03-2014)

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