The 34-year-old Frenchman was widely criticised after he celebrated his first goal at Upton Park by performing the ‘quenelle’ salute made famous by French comedian Dieudonne.
The gesture has been linked to anti-Semitism in France, although others claim it is only used to show solidarity with anti-establishment views. The French minister for sport Valerie Fourneyron on Saturday night condemned the gesture, describing it as “shocking” and “disgusting” through her official Twitter account.
Former Real Madrid, Chelsea and Arsenal star Anelka tried to play down the incident. “This gesture was a special dedication to my friend Dieudonne,” he said on Twitter.