It didn’t take very long for the English FA to realize that the waves of criticism coming from France about Nicolas Anelka celebrating his goal with the Quenelle gesture, connected to antisemitism, are something that probably deserve looking into, and there’s more than just a dedication to a friend, Dieudonne M’bala M’bala.
Some say that at first, Diedonne didn’t use the gesture as something that’s against Jews or Zionism. It was about some anti-establishment sentiment, but it changes. Dieudonne is clearly against everything Jewish, or became such at some point. There’s no way that anyone could mix up his reverse Nazi salute as some call it to anything else with just a little bit of knowledge on the background of the comedian.
So Anelka, who is a friend of the man, completely unaware to the significance? Does he really think it’s just a dedication to a friend? Hardly believable. What’s more believable is that he didn’t think people in the Premier League would pick up on it, but forgot that this isn’t the 1980’s, and everyone everywhere sees everything, and one tweet can create quite a media storm very quickly.
So Anelka told his manager Keith Downing he’s stunned by the reactions, and his manager now has to lie in front of the media and cameras for him. In France Anelka is mostly criticized for his attempt at revealing his disgusting opinions and what really is hiding inside that mind of his. It’s worth mentioning that Montpellier defender, Mathieu Deplagne, also made the same gesture in the past and manager to avoid punishment. Samir Nasri and Mamadou Sakho have been photographed making the gesture, although not in football matches.
The English FA isn’t known for making reasonable decisions. Luis Suarez said ‘Negro’ to Patrice Evra after some harsh words from the Frenchman himself. In the your word against my word tribunal, Suarez lost and somehow got suspended for eight matches on the account of being racist, although it’s not quite sure he did anything wrong. John Terry was much harsher in his words towards Anton Ferdinand, but his suspension was only four matches, despite saying something much harsher. Why? Being English probably helped.
So how does being French, named Nicolas Anelka and being a veteran in the Premier League get processed in the FA suspension calculator? Hard to tell, even though what really matters is what Anelka did for the whole world to see, and when realizing he was caught in the act tried to cover it up by faking foolish innocence.