'I'm not anti-Semite,' French footballer Anelka says amid row
Published on Dec 30, 2013 6:02 AM
PARIS (AFP) - French footballer Nicolas Anelka on Sunday strongly defended a controversial gesture he made during a weekend match, saying "I am neither anti-Semite nor racist", even as British football authorities mulled possible punishment.
The 34-year-old West Bromwich Albion striker and former member of France's national team issued a series of tweets rejecting claims that the gesture he made Saturday was anti-Semitic or a thinly veiled Nazi-like salute, as many have interpreted.
His response came amid growing outrage online and internationally, and a risk that he could face match suspensions if England's Football Association finds his act racially offensive.
Anelka argued in his tweets that the gesture - in which he thrust his straightened right arm downwards while tapping his bicep with the other hand - was merely "anti-establishment".
To continue reading, log in if you are a subscriber
If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here