Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Anelka is Finally Charged for Quenelle

The Football Association has finally got its act together and charged the WBA footballer Nicolas Anelka for the quenelle gesture he made after scoring against West Ham United last December. They released this statement:

"The FA has charged the West Bromwich Albion player Nicolas Anelka following an incident that occurred during the West Ham United versus West Bromwich Albion fixture at the Boleyn Ground on 28 December 2013.

It is alleged that, in the 40th minute of the fixture, Anelka made a gesture which was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper, contrary to FA Rule E3[1].

It is further alleged that this is an aggravated breach, as defined in FA Rule E3[2], in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief.

Anelka has until 6 pm on 23 January 2014 to respond to the charge."

A full report on the current situation may be found in the Telegraph or on the BBC website. Of course the Daily Mail also has something to say.

Sky News notes that because of this incident, West Brom have lost their sponsors Zoopla, who were "founded by an American Jewish businessman".

The Board of Deputies of British Jews published a statement supporting the FA's action.

The Mail also focussed on early responses to the charge. It presents Anelka's link to a video of a French Jew supporting him, and quotes British Jews who feel strongly that he must be punished. Jonathan Arkush from the Board of Deputies notes that Anelka has not shown any signs of remorse or apologised to anyone. Of course Anelka is still insisting that his gesture was anti-establishment, not anti-semitic. Can he really be so immature? Or so stupid? Considering his celebrity status in France, and that he doesn't exactly live a counter-culture life, this seems utterly disingenuous.

That's just my opinion. Romelu Lukaku, a footballer under contract to the Stamford Bridge team but currently on loan to Everton, made this statement in an interview on Monday after his team had drawn against West Brom:

"He was my idol since I was a kid and he still is. He should never have been banned for that. He showed support for a stand-up comedian in France. We don't need to make such a big deal of it. He's an adult and I hope he isn't suspended because he's a player that people want to see play on the pitch."

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