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Football: Anelka 'did not promote anti-Semitism'

Published on Mar 7, 2014 5:51 AM
West Bromwich Albion's Nicolas Anelka looks on during their English Premier League soccer match against Everton at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich, central England on Jan 20, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Nicolas Anelka could not be proven to have intentionally promoted anti-Semitism by performing a 'quenelle' salute, the independent regulatory commission that banned the West Bromwich Albion striker revealed on Thursday.

Anelka, 34, was given a five-game suspension, as well as an 80,000 pounds (S$169,119) fine last week after making the gesture during his side's 3-3 draw at West Ham United in the Premier League in December.

The body that imposed the ban revealed the reasons for its decision in a 35-page report released on Thursday, in which it stated that the 'quenelle' is "strongly associated with anti-Semitism".

However, the commission said that it was not satisfied that Anelka intended to "express or promote anti-Semitism by his use of the quenelle".

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