FA charges playes over ‘quenelle’ tweets

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IOL pic jan24 Anelka Reuters West Bromwich Albion forward Nicolas Anelka says his controversial quenelle gesture was a tribute to a friend. File picture: Darren Staples

London - The English Football Association charged two players on Tuesday with racially-aggravated misconduct for tweets about a gesture considered anti-Semitic.

Hull striker Yannick Sagbo and Queens Park Rangers' loan defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto posted comments on Twitter backing Nicolas Anelka for performing the arm gesture, known in France as a “quenelle,” while celebrating a goal for West Bromwich Albion in December.

Anelka was fired by West Brom last month after being banned for five matches by the FA. Sagbo and Assou-Ekotto are facing the same minimum ban if found guilty.

Assou-Ekotto congratulated Anelka via Twitter for performing the “quenelle,” which was popularized by French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala and has been described as an “inverted Nazi salute.” Sagbo called Anelka a “legend” alongside a picture of the French striker.

Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri, who had previously been pictured online in the “quenelle” pose, has been given a formal warning by the FA. Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho, who was also pictured on Twitter performing the gesture, was “reminded of his responsibilities as a participant,” the FA said.


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