CST Blog

CST statement on the FA verdict regarding Nicolas Anelka

27 February 2014

Nicolas Anelka has rightly been found guilty of introducing an ugly antisemitic gesture into British football. We acknowledge Anelka’s denial of antisemitic intent, but his action was clear and the FA’s zero tolerance approach to racism meant there could be no other outcome. This verdict sends a strong message to Jewish players and supporters at all levels of the game that the FA will act against antisemitic acts if they are reported.

CST made a formal complaint to the FA on the day that Anelka made his Quenelle salute and we have kept in regular contact with the FA throughout this process, including supplying them with information about the Quenelle and its inventor, the French comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala. Working with our partners in the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council, we successfully asked the Home Secretary to ban Dieudonné from travelling to the UK.

We are pleased to see that this process has now reached a satisfactory conclusion with today’s guilty verdict. Although we acknowledge Anelka’s insistence that he did not intend his Quenelle to be antisemitic, the FA has a zero tolerance policy for racism in football and it is vital that this principle is applied equally to antisemitism as it is to other forms of racism. Today’s verdict sends out the right message to Jewish footballers and supporters and we will continue to work with the FA and other partners to eradicate antisemitism from football.

You can read CST’s coverage of this affair on the CST Blog here and here, and a more in-depth analysis by CST’s Deputy Director of Communications here.

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