FA charge West Bromwich Albion's Nicolas Anelka over 'quenelle' gesture

Nicolas Anelka of West Bromwich Albion in action during the pre season friendly match between Puskas FC Academy and West Bromwich Albion at the Varosi Stadium on July 22, 2013
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West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka is charged by the FA over the 'quenelle' gesture he made against West Ham United in December.

The Football Association have announced that West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka has been charged in relation to the 'quenelle' gesture he made against West Ham United in December.

The English governing body have been investigating the gesture, which Anelka made during a goal celebration in the Baggies' 3-3 draw at Upton Park.

The salute, which was created by Anelka's friend and comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, is alleged to have anti-Semitic connotations.

A statement from the FA said: "It is alleged that, in the 40th minute of the fixture, Anelka made a gesture which was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper, contrary to FA Rule E3[1].

"It is further alleged that this is an aggravated breach, as defined in FA Rule E3[2], in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief."

The fallout of the incident has resulted in the club's sponsors Zoopla deciding against renewing their sponsorship deal at the end of the season.

The Frenchman, who faces a minimum of a five-match ban, has until 6pm on January 23 to respond to the charge.

West Bromwich Albion's French striker Nicolas Anelka vies with West Ham United's Senegalese midfielder Mohamed Diame during the English Premier League football match on December 28, 2013
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