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West Brom: Anelka's celebration not anti-Semitic

West Brom coach says Nicolas Anelka denies making anti-Semitic gesture after scoring goal

West Bromwich Albion's Nicolas Anelka, second right, celebrates his first goal against West Ham United with teammates during their English Premier Lea...
West Bromwich Albion's Nicolas Anelka, second left, scores his second goal against West Ham United, during their English Premier League soccer match a...

Britain Soccer Premier League

West Bromwich Albion's Nicolas Anelka, second right, celebrates his first goal against West Ham United with teammates during their English Premier Lea...

Britain Soccer Premier League

West Bromwich Albion's Nicolas Anelka, second left, scores his second goal against West Ham United, during their English Premier League soccer match a...

LONDON (AP) -- West Bromwich Albion coach Keith Downing says former France striker Nicolas Anelka has denied making an anti-Semitic gesture while celebrating a goal during a Premier League match.

After scoring the first of his two goals in a 3-3 draw at West Ham on Saturday, Anelka appeared to perform a salute used by French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala that Jewish groups in France have linked to anti-Semitic incidents in the country.

Downing says Anelka's celebration was dedicated to Dieudonne but says anything else being read into the gesture "is absolute rubbish."

Downing says Anelka "is totally unaware of what the problems were or the speculation that has been thrown around, he is totally surprised by it."

Jewish groups say the "la quenelle" gesture is a Nazi salute in reverse.


Updated : 2021-05-19 09:03 GMT+08:00