LONDON, England, February 28-West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka has been banned for five games, fined £80,000 (Sh11,514,030) and ordered to complete a compulsory education course after being found guilty of aggravated misconduct for performing a ‘quenelle’ gesture.
An independent commission ruled that the Frenchman breached the Football Association’s code of conduct when he made the controversial gesture after scoring against West Ham in December.
“An independent regulatory commission has found an aggravated breach of FA rule E3 against Nicolas Anelka proven and has issued a five-match suspension and a fine of £80,000, pending appeal,” the FA said in a statement.
The rule in question relates to “a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief.”
The commission also ruled that Anelka had not been deliberately anti-Semitic.
The Frenchman, who has the right to appeal, insists that the gesture was anti-establishment and was not meant to cause offence.
As a result of the ban, Anelka will miss the Baggies’ fixtures against Manchester United, Swansea, Hull, Cardiff and Norwich.