Soccer-Anelka to stay in England despite "quenelle" charge

Reuters

Jan 27 (Reuters) - West Bromwich Albion's Nicolas Anelka is determined to remain in England despite facing an FA charge over his controversial "quenelle" gesture, the former France striker said on Monday.

Anelka made the alleged anti-Semitic salute after scoring against West Ham United last month and faces a minimum ban of five matches if found guilty.

There have been suggestions he might leave West Brom in the January transfer window but he explained on his Twitter account that he wanted to stay in England.

"Thanks to Lazio and all the other clubs who wanted to sign me these last days. See you this summer if I decide to continue (playing)," added Anelka.

"But the question is why should I leave my club and England? I'm happy here and I did nothing wrong. So now it's time to stay focused on my football with my club and I will try my best on the pitch like I always do."

Anelka said the gesture, which has been described as an inverted Nazi salute, was a tribute to his French comedian friend Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala who invented it.

The striker, who is available for selection until the FA makes its decision, has received a 34-page document explaining the allegations against him and has requested a personal hearing. (Reporting by Josh Reich; editing by Tony Jimenez)

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