English FA charges players over ‘quenelle’ tweets
LONDON (AP) — The English Football Association charged two players on Tuesday with racially-aggravated misconduct for tweets about a gesture considered anti-Semitic.
Hull striker Yannick Sagbo and Queens Park Rangers’ loan defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto posted comments on Twitter backing Nicolas Anelka for performing the arm gesture, known in France as a “quenelle,” while celebrating a goal for West Bromwich Albion in December.
Anelka was fired by West Brom last month after being banned for five matches by the FA, the minimum sanction for discrimination cases. Sagbo and Assou-Ekotto might only face financial penalties as there is no minimum punishment for social media postings.
Assou-Ekotto congratulated Anelka via Twitter for performing the “quenelle,” which was popularized by French comedian Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala and has been described as an “inverted Nazi salute.” Sagbo called Anelka a “legend” alongside a picture of the French striker.
Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri, who had previously been pictured online in the “quenelle” pose, has been given a formal warning by the FA. Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho, who was also pictured on Twitter performing the gesture, was “reminded of his responsibilities as a participant,” the FA said.