Nicolas Anelka denies “anti-Semitic” celebration

Nicolas Anelka denies accusations of anti-semitism.

Nicolas Anelka denies accusations of making an “anti-Semitic” celebration against West Ham United.

France’s sports minister accused Anelka of a “disgusting anti-Semitic” goal celebration during West Brom’s 3-3 draw at West Ham.

Anelka who is a devout Muslim made the “quenelle”, described as an inverted “Nazi salute”.

West Bromwich Albion said it was not an anti-Semitic act, but Sport Minister Valerie Fourneyron criticised Anelka, who is also being investigated by the Football Association (FA).

Fourneyron wrote: “Anelka’s gesture is a shocking provocation, disgusting. There’s no place for anti-Semitism on the football field.”

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“Special dedication”

34-year-old Anelka defended his action, saying: “This gesture was a special dedication to my friend Dieudonne.”

Albion’s caretaker manager Keith Downing said Anelka was “totally surprised” by the furore.

Downing said: “It has got nothing to do with what is being said. It is absolute rubbish.”

The French government is trying to ban comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala’s shows over his use of the gesture.

Anti-discrimination body “Kick It Out” said it was in contact with partners in England and France over the Anelka incident and offered support to the FA in its inquiries.

Former France international Anelka scored his first two goals for the club in Saturday’s draw with the West Ham.

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