French striker Anelka, now with English Premier League side West Bromwich Albion, faces a minimum five-match ban for making a gesture condemned in France as anti-Semitic after scoring the first of his two goals in a 3-3 draw against West Ham on December 28.

However, the 34-year-old has denied the gesture was anti-Semitic and requested a personal hearing.

Anelka was charged by England's governing Football Association last month with an aggravated offence after making a gesture that was judged to be "abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper".

The aggravated breach was that it included "a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief".

The quenelle, described as an inverted Nazi salute, has been popularised by French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, a friend of Anelka's, who was been prosecuted in France for various racial offences.

Anelka has maintained his goal celebration was an anti-establishment gesture in support of Dieudonne and that he is not racist or anti-Semitic.

Last month, Dieudonne was banned from entering the UK after the Home Office, Britain's interior ministry, made him subject to an exclusion order.