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FA bans player 5 games for anti-Semitic gesture

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ROB HARRIS | February 27, 2014 12:33 PM EST | AP


LONDON (AP) — The English Football Association has given West Bromwich Albion player Nicolas Anelka a five-game ban and $133,000 fine after finding him guilty of causing racial offense with a goal celebration deemed anti-Semitic.

Anelka had denied his use of the gesture, known in France as a "quenelle" and described as an "inverted Nazi salute," was anti-Semitic.

But an FA disciplinary panel, which heard the case this week, decided otherwise for the former France international who made the gesture during a Premier League match in December.

The gesture involves pointing one straightened arm downward while touching the shoulder with the opposite hand. It was popularized by French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, who has been convicted multiple times for inciting racial hatred or anti-Semitism.