Johannesburg, Apr 5: Former West Bromwich Albion player Nicolas Anelka has insisted that he is neither anti-Semitic nor racist following his five-match ban for an alleged anti-Semitic gesture and his sacking by the club.
The French forward, who made the ‘quenelle’ gesture described as an inverted Nazi salute in a match in December, claimed that it was a tribute to his French comedian friend Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala, who invented it.
According to Sport24, Anelka, who was sacked by West Brom for gross misconduct last month, said that there is no proof or evidence that he is an anti-Semitic or racist as he has no such antecedents, adding that there is no reason why he should think about the Jewish community, with whom he never had a problem before, when he scores a goal.
Anelka further said that he could not accept that the quenelle is anti-Semitic just because some people made the gesture in front of a synagogue, adding that in that case, all priests are ‘paedophiles’ and all Muslims are’ terrorists’.
Anelka, who was banned for 18 games for insulting then France coach Raymond Domenech at the 2010 World Cup, has no regrets doing that, saying that if he got a chance he would do it again as he insulted a man whom every Frenchman was already bashing.
The former Arsenal, Real Madrid and Paris St Germain player, further said that he might play on the pitch again. (ANI)