Sports

English FA bans West Brom's Nicolas Anelka 5 games, fined $133,000 for anti-Semitic gesture

FILE - This Saturday Dec. 28, 2013 file photo shows West Bromwich Albion's Nicolas Anelka, right, as he gestures to celebrate his goal against West Ham United during their English Premier League soccer match at Upton Park, London. The English Football Association has banned Nicolas Anelka for five games after finding the West Bromwich Albion striker guilty of causing racial offense with a goal celebration deemed anti-Semitic. Anelka had denied that his use of the gesture, which is known in France as a "quenelle" and has been described as an "inverted Nazi salute," was anti-Semitic in a Premier League match in December. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, File)

FILE - This Saturday Dec. 28, 2013 file photo shows West Bromwich Albion's Nicolas Anelka, right, as he gestures to celebrate his goal against West Ham United during their English Premier League soccer match at Upton Park, London. The English Football Association has banned Nicolas Anelka for five games after finding the West Bromwich Albion striker guilty of causing racial offense with a goal celebration deemed anti-Semitic. Anelka had denied that his use of the gesture, which is known in France as a "quenelle" and has been described as an "inverted Nazi salute," was anti-Semitic in a Premier League match in December. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, File)  (The Associated Press)

The English Football Association has given West Bromwich Albion player Nicolas Anelka a five-game ban and $133,000 fine after finding him guilty of causing racial offense with a goal celebration deemed anti-Semitic.

Anelka had denied his use of the gesture, known in France as a "quenelle" and described as an "inverted Nazi salute," was anti-Semitic.

But an FA disciplinary panel, which heard the case this week, decided otherwise for the former France international who made the gesture during a Premier League match in December.

The gesture involves pointing one straightened arm downward while touching the shoulder with the opposite hand. It was popularized by French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, who has been convicted multiple times for inciting racial hatred or anti-Semitism.