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Anelka formally denies FA charge, could see ban doubled to 10 matches

Jan 23, 2014, 2:58 PM EST

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Nicolas Anelka had until today to deny the English Football Association’s charge that his ‘quenelle’ goal celebration was improper, an appeal that could double his minimum five-match ban to 10.

Some are saying the 10-match ban would effectively end his career, as Anelka has talked about retirement for a while. If you have any questions about whether his saluting a comedian friend was anti-Semitic, read this post from our own Steve Davis.

In any event, Anelka will continue to deny responsibility and some are saying a 10-match ban would cause West Bromwich Albion to cancel his contract for misconduct.

Here’s West Brom’s statement, which does not offer a ton of support (and why would it? They’ve lost a major sponsor due to his gesture and subsequent reaction and reportedly may lose two more):

‘West Bromwich Albion can confirm that Nicolas Anelka has denied an FA charge regarding the gesture he made after scoring his first goal against West Ham United on December 28.

‘The striker has requested a personal hearing. The club will make no further comment until The FA’s disciplinary process has reached a conclusion.”

Continued troubling times at the Hawthorns…

  1. chadmoon1 - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    I watched a West Brom game on MLK Day. The announcers were giving him credit for a good 1st half, but I didn’t see anything so great about it. I thought it was pretty ordinary. I’m not so sure this would be a big loss for them.

  2. jrocknstuff - Jan 23, 2014 at 6:23 PM

    In all fairness, West Brom lost their sponsor because they continued to play him while the FA dragged their feet. Had West Brom done the right thing by their sponsors and benched Anelka they wouldn’t have lost their sponsors, so in that light West Brom is very much to blame.

  3. Matthew - Jan 23, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    Reblogged this on Carolina Mountain Blue and commented:
    The more I read this, the more it seems as though there’s egg on everybody’s faces (Anelka, West Brom & the FA).

    To be clear, Anelka shoulders’ most of the blame here; he’s the one who used the quenelle salute and if past penalties for similar actions/remarks are any indication, a 10-game ban isn’t out of the ordinary. West Brom deserves some of the blame here, as well; yes, they’re currently fighting not to be relegated but that doesn’t excuse the fact that they should’ve benched Anelka…as a result of not benching him, they’re now short a sponsor for next season, which could have an impact on their bottom line (not withstanding whether they’re relegated or not). Finally, there’s the FA; now, I understand that in cases like this that you want to do your due diligence…that makes sense. But to drag this out as long as they have effectively tied the hands of West Brom, which cascaded into Zoopla dropping West Brom for next year.
    In fact, regardless of what happens to Nicolas Anelka ‘vis-a-vis’ his quennelle salute, I would argue the FA bears more of the blame for the way this has turned out than West Brom; why? For this reason: so long as the FA delays its’ decision on whether or not to suspend Anelka, there’s no reason for West Brom to suspend him other than out of common decency, which given West Brom’s current predicament in the Premier League (i.e. avoiding relegation), likely wouldn’t have happened.
    Whatever happens, though, this doesn’t look good for any of the parties involved, period.

  4. jrocknstuff - Jan 24, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Very well said. Agree on all points

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