Anelka shocked by celebration furore: Coach

Published: Dec 29, 2013, 03:34 IST | AFP |

West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka has denied performing an anti-Semitic goal celebration in Saturday's 3-3 draw at West Ham United, according to caretaker coach Keith Downing.

Anelka, 34, made his first appearance since October in the Premier League game at Upton Park and scored twice in a five-minute spell shortly before half-time.

Nicolas Anelka
Nicolas Anelka

After scoring his first goal, he put his left hand across his body to make the ‘quenelle’ salute popularised by the anti-establishment French comedian Dieudonne, who is one of Anelka's friends.

The gesture has been linked to anti-Semitism in France, with French interior minister Manuel Valls calling for Dieudonne’s performances to be banned. “I’m aware of it, but it has got nothing to do what is being said. It is dedicated to a French comedian he knows very, very well. I think speculation can be stopped now,” said the coach.

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