Anelka to serve five-match ban after player, FA decides not to contest decision

London, Mar 14: West Bromwich Albion player Nicolas Anelka will reportedly serve his five-match ban for making a ‘quenelle’ gesture, slammed as anti-Semitic, after the Football Association (FA) and the striker both decided not to contest the decision.

The Frenchman made the sign, which was described as ‘an aggravated breach’ of FA rules by the commission, during a 3-3 Premier League draw with West Ham United on 28 December.

According to the BBC, the Frenchman had seven days to appeal but that time has now lapsed and although the FA wanted a heavier sanction than the one given by an independent commission, however, it stated that they do not consider there is a real prospect of successfully appealing to extend the sanction.

FA director of football governance and regulation Darren Bailey said that the grounds of appeal available to them are limited to legal challenges or to circumstances in which the sanction imposed is ‘so unduly lenient as to be unreasonable’, adding that Anelka himself has decided not to contest the independent regulatory commission’s punishment.

The commission said in its ruling that both charges against Anelka had been proven – that the gesture was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper, and that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief, although it added that it did not believe Anelka had been deliberately anti-Semitic. (ANI)