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Premier League: West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka charged by FA over quenelle gesture

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Nicolas Anelka has until 6pm on Thursday to respond to the Football Association after being charged for his controversial 'quenelle' gesture.

The West Brom striker made the gesture, which is considered to be anti-Semitic, while celebrating a goal in the Premier League match against West Ham at Upton Park on December 28.

The former Arsenal and Real Madrid star has agreed not to perform the salute again after the club accepted it had caused some offence but there has been no apology from the player.

A three-man independent regulatory commission will now be appointed to deal with the case - either to decide on the sanction if Anelka admits the charge or to hold a disciplinary hearing if he denies it.

In a statement, the governing body said: "The FA has charged the West Bromwich Albion player Nicolas Anelka following an incident that occurred during the West Ham United versus West Bromwich Albion fixture at the Boleyn Ground on 28 December 2013.

"It is alleged that, in the 40th minute of the fixture, Anelka made a gesture which was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper, contrary to FA Rule E3(1).

"It is further alleged that this is an aggravated breach, as defined in FA Rule E3(2), in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief."

In a brief statement, West Brom said "West Bromwich Albion has noted The FA’s charge against Nicolas Anelka regarding the gesture he made after scoring his first goal against West Ham United on December 28."

"Anelka has received a 34-page document explaining the allegations against him and informing him that he has until 6pm on Thursday to respond. The player is now considering his options."

"Under FA rules, Anelka remains available for first-team selection until The FA’s disciplinary process has reached its conclusion. Following this, the Club will conclude its own internal enquiry."

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