Updated: Wednesday, 01 January 2014 23:08 | By Agence France-Presse

Anelka plays despite 'quenelle' furore

French striker Nicolas Anelka was named in West Bromwich Albion's team to face Newcastle United on Wednesday, despite being under investigation over his controversial 'quenelle' goal celebration.


Anelka plays despite 'quenelle' furore

West Bromwich Albion's French striker Nicolas Anelka makes a gesture as he celebrates scoring during an English Premier League match against West Ham at Upton Park in east London on December 28, 2013

Anelka, 34, sparked a media storm on Saturday when he celebrated the first of his two goals in the 3-3 Premier League draw at West Ham United by putting one arm across his chest and straightening the other.

The gesture, popularised by French comedian Dieudonne, has been described by critics in France as an anti-Semitic 'inverted Nazi salute', but Anelka has insisted that it was merely "a dedication" to the comic.

He also insisted that he was "neither anti-Semite nor racist".

With England's Football Association having launched an investigation into the matter, West Brom subsequently announced that Anelka had agreed not to repeat the gesture.

However, West Brom said that the former France international would "remain under consideration for first-team selection" until both the club and the FA had completed their investigations.

Under new anti-discrimination rules introduced last May, Anelka faces a minimum five-match ban if the FA decides that he is guilty of discrimination.

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