Anelka hearing set for next week

Nicolas Anelka faces a minimum of a five-match ban

Nicolas Anelka faces a minimum of a five-match ban

First published in National Sport News © by

Nicolas Anelka's disciplinary hearing into his controversial 'quenelle' salute is due to start early next week.

The three-man independent regulatory panel's hearing is expected to last several days but to be completed by the end of the week.

West Brom's French striker faces a minimum five-match ban after being charged by the Football Association with performing an alleged anti-Semitic gesture during his club's match against West Ham on December 28.

The 34-year-old has denied the gesture was anti-Semitic and requested a personal hearing.

Anelka was charged last month with an aggravated offence after making a gesture that was judged to be "abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper".

The aggravated breach was that it included "a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief".

The quenelle has been described as an inverted Nazi salute and its invention has been credited to French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, a friend of Anelka's, who was been prosecuted in France for anti-Semitism.

Anelka maintains his goal celebration was an anti-establishment gesture in support of Dieudonne.

Last month, Dieudonne was banned from entering the UK after the Home Office made him subject to an exclusion order.

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