• Premier League

FA not appealing Anelka ban

ESPN staff
March 13, 2014
The controversial 'quenelle' gesture landed Nicolas Anelka with a five-match ban © Getty Images

The FA will not appeal against Nicolas Anelka's five-match ban for his controversial "quenelle" gesture.

Anelka received the FA's minimum ban for racism after performing the celebration upon scoring against West Ham in December.

The decision was made by the FA's independent regulatory commission, but English football's governing body had the opportunity to push for Anelka to serve a longer suspension.

However, the FA confirmed via Twitter on Thursday that it is happy with the original punishment handed out to the former France international.

A statement on its official website said: "Having carefully considered the written reasons of the Independent Regulatory Commission together with our appointed QC, The FA confirm they will not be appealing the sanction imposed on Nicolas Anelka.

"The grounds of appeal available to The FA are limited to legal challenges or to circumstances in which the sanction imposed is 'so unduly lenient as to be unreasonable.'

"As the written reasons make clear, The FA pressed the Commission at the original hearing to impose a suspension of greater than five matches. The FA does not consider there is a real prospect of successfully appealing to extend the sanction imposed."

The punishment, which includes a fine of £80,000, will now take effect immediately following the end of the appeal process. Anelka will miss West Brom's games against Swansea, Hull, Cardiff, Norwich and Tottenham.

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

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