Quenelle Gesture Could Mean Nicolas Anelka Gets A Ban
Few players are able to cause a stir wherever they go, and it comes as no surprise that Nicolas Anelka is one of those players. In comparison to the average professional footballer, he has by far played for more top flight teams all over Europe. Unfortunately, he has the reputation of not being able to settle at any club. But he has somehow managed to score goals, and become a central part of the teams he has played in.
Earlier this year he returned to the Premiership with West Bromwich Albion, making it the sixth Premiership club in his career. He also just scored his first two goals for his new side since his move, in a drawn game against West Ham United. Everything was fine till he scored his first goal just before half time. But the celebration of that goal now has him in a spot of bother.
After scoring, Anelka was seen celebrating using a gesture called the quenelle. Performed by placing one hand on the opposite shoulder, while pointing the other arm straight down. However, the reason Nicolas Anelka is in trouble, is because the gesture is described as being some kind of Nazi salute by Jewish groups in France.
External pressure could force the hand of the Football Association
Because of the gesture, Anelka is being investigated by the Football Association. The player himself has stated on Twitter, that the gesture was dedicated to his friend. His friend, Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, is known as being a very controversial comedian and is the inventor of the quenelle.
Dieudonné first used the gesture in 2009, during the time he was a candidate for the European elections. He was sitting at the top of his anti-Zionist party, and he himself has argued the quenelle is a very general anti-establishment symbol.
However, France’s interior minister Manuel Valls said that nobody finds the comedian funny, and said that he himself finds the comedian racist and anti-Semitic. As such, he wants all his shows to be banned. Dieudonné has been fined on three separate occasions for things he has said. Regardless, he still has a strong and loyal fan base and was happy to see Anelka perform a live quenelle. He went on to thank Anelka for the players support.
Should the Football Association find the gesture to be offensive, then there is strong suggestion of Anelka facing a ban from football. Players and his manager have supported the striker. Saying they do not believe Anelka used the gesture for anything other than as a dedication to his friend, who uses the gesture in his comedy act. Anelka has mentioned he would like to enter into the film industry after his playing days are over.