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Nicolas Anelka will not appeal five-match ban over 'quenelle' gesture

Sandwell | News | Published:

West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka will not appeal against his five-match ban for an anti-Semitic goal celebration.

The FA has also decided not to appeal for a longer suspension, meaning Anelka's ban will start with Albion's trip to Swansea on Saturday.

The 34-year-old will find out next week whether he has a future with the Baggies when the club completes its own internal inquiry.

Anelka was banned for five matches by an independent commission, which ruled that his celebration at West Ham on December 28 was anti-Semitic.

The commission decided, however, that Anelka was not an anti-Semite and did not intend to promote anti-Semitism with his gesture so imposed the minimum ban.

Both Anelka and the FA had until today to lodge appeals but neither party has opted to do so.

FA director of football governance and regulation Darren Bailey said: "We acknowledge the careful consideration taken by the independent regulatory commission of the difficult arguments placed before it.

See also: West Brom suspend Nicolas Anelka after five-match ban over 'quenelle' gesture

"Its decision makes it absolutely clear that use of this gesture on the football pitches of England will not be tolerated in any circumstance.

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"Having now considered very carefully the written reasons of the independent regulatory commission together with our appointed QC, we do not consider there is a real prospect of successfully appealing to extend the sanction imposed.

"The grounds of appeal available to us are limited to legal challenges or to circumstances in which the sanction imposed is 'so unduly lenient as to be unreasonable.' That is a high test.

"Whilst The FA pressed the independent regulatory commission to impose a harsher sanction on Nicolas Anelka than a suspension of five matches, it is not so far outside the range of sanctions that would have been appropriate in this case to be properly described as unreasonable.

"With confirmation that both parties will not be appealing, Nicolas Anelka will serve out his suspension during this season. We also welcome his confirmation the gesture will not be repeated."

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