Nicolas Anelka banned and fined £80,000 for 'quenelle' gesture
West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka has been banned for five matches and fined £80,000 for his controversial "quenelle" gesture.
He has also been ordered to complete a compulsory education course, following a two-day Football Association hearing.
Anelka, 34, denied his use of the sign, described as an "inverted Nazi salute", was anti-Semitic. He has the right to appeal against the ruling.
He made the action during [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] on 28 December.
The ban and fine are suspended until after the outcome of any appeal.
The Frenchman and his legal team mounted a defence this week before the independent regulatory commission hearing, at the Grove Hotel in Watford.
He said the gesture was a signal in support of his friend, the French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, the person who first brought the quenelle to prominence.
The independent regulatory commission said in a [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] that the two charges Anelka faced - that the gesture was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper, and that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief - were both proven.
The commission added it was their finding Anelka had not been deliberately anti-Semitic.
The commission statement said: "So far as the basis for our finding on Charge 2 is concerned, we did not find that Nicolas Anelka is an anti-Semite or that he intended to express or promote anti-Semitism by his use of the quenelle."
Anelka has seven days from the receipt of written reasons for his punishment to notify the FA if he wants to proceed with an appeal against the ruling.
He must also pay the costs of the hearing in full.
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