FA bans player 5 games for anti-Semitic gesture

ROB HARRIS (AP Sports Writer)
The Associated Press
FA bans player 5 games for anti-Semitic gesture
FILE - This Saturday Dec. 28, 2013 file photo shows West Bromwich Albion's Nicolas Anelka, right, as he gestures to celebrate his goal against West Ham United during their English Premier League soccer match at Upton Park, London. West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka was charged by the English Football Association on Tuesday Jan 21, 2014 for performing a racially aggravated gesture considered to be anti-Semitic while celebrating a Premier League goal. The gesture, which is known in France as a "quenelle" and has been described as an "inverted Nazi salute," was performed by Anelka in the Dec. 28 game against West Ham. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, File)

LONDON (AP) -- The English Football Association has given West Bromwich Albion player Nicolas Anelka a five-game ban and $133,000 fine after finding him guilty of causing racial offense with a goal celebration deemed anti-Semitic.

Anelka had denied his use of the gesture, known in France as a ''quenelle'' and described as an ''inverted Nazi salute,'' was anti-Semitic.

But an FA disciplinary panel, which heard the case this week, decided otherwise for the former France international who made the gesture during a Premier League match in December.

The gesture involves pointing one straightened arm downward while touching the shoulder with the opposite hand. It was popularized by French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, who has been convicted multiple times for inciting racial hatred or anti-Semitism.