Panaji: The Football Association in England, which had imposed a five-match ban on Nicolas Anelka after he had made the controversial 'quenelle' gesture in December while playing for West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League (EPL), has been reduced to three matches.

Nicolas Anelka

Mumbai City FC applied for Anelka's International Transfer Clearance (ITC) last week through Fifa's Transfer Matching system (TMS). The English FA cleared the transfer on condition that he serves a three-match ban instead of the five
initially stipulated.

"We have received the ITC for the three-match ban. This is probably because he is now playing outside England," an official of the AIFF stated.

The AIFF on its part has also clarified that it has no option but to enforce the ban, which will rule out Anelka's
participation for Mumbai FC in the first three matches of the ISL.

Thus, Anelka will make his debut in the match against Chennaiyins FC on October 29, 2014. According to Article 12 of Fifa's Regulations on the Status and transfer of Players, "Any disciplinary suspension imposed on a player prior to a transfer must be enforced or applied by the new association at which the player is registered."

The former association is obliged to notify the new association of any sanction in writing and upon issuing the ITC.