Dieudonne M'bala M'bala supports Nicolas Anelka

M'bala supports Anelka
© AFP
French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala comes out in support of Nicolas Anelka's controversial 'quenelle' gesture.

French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala has insisted that Nicolas Anelka's controversial 'quenelle' gesture against West Ham United in December is not racist.

The West Bromwich Albion celebrated his goal against the Hammers at Upton Park by making what has been described as an 'inverted Nazi salute'.

Anelka has always claimed that his gesture was in support of his friend M'bala and is anti-establishment in nature and not anti-semitic, and the 47-year-old has now come out in support of the former Arsenal and Chelsea forward.

"Nicolas Anelka has all my support, that's evident," he told Sky News. "We see him as a brother in our humanity.

"He's someone who is very courageous and for whom I have very much respect and admiration. There's no hint of racism, racism is a bad thing.

"The quenelle was at the start an insult, a little like this, I'm not sure how you do it in England (performs 'up yours' gesture). In France, it's a gesture against the system."

M'bala added that the 'quenelle' is linked with history of slavery and not with anti-semitism.

"Nicolas Anelka and I, we are French of African origin and this salute is a gesture of emancipation," he said.

"Anelka is a descendant of slaves and if he wants to remark on this history then he has the right to - and we are all very proud of him doing so.

"We are all behind him in solidarity and we are above all proud of him because of his noble position. To us, he is a prince."

The English FA has charged Anelka for his action and could ban him for at least five matches.

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