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Radio Sandwell Sport

Football - Nicolas Anelka costs West Brom sponsorship

2014-01-20 20:41:28

Nicolas Anelka

West Brom sponsor Zoopla have decided to end their sponsorship of the club at the end of the season over Nicolas Anelka's "quenelle" gesture

Anelka, 34, made the sign, described as an inverted Nazi salute and declared by some to be anti-Semitic, after scoring against West Ham on 28 December 2013.

Zoopla, co-owned by Jewish businessman Alex Chesterman, will focus on other marketing activities.

The incident is being investigated by the Football Association.

David Ornstein


BBC Sport


"After Anelka's celebration there was uproar in France
in some sections of society and that spread to the UK.
He immediately said he meant no offence by it and
West Brom said they would take no action until the FA
have investigated. Zoopla co-owner Alex Chesterman
is Jewish and will have played a key role in the decision."

West Brom asked the striker not to repeat the celebration and have since selected him in their win over Newcastle and defeat at Southampton.

The former Arsenal player defended his actions in the days following the incident, but as the FA's verdict draws nearer, the club's sponsor made its stance clear.

The property company said in a statement: "Zoopla has been reviewing its position over the past few weeks in light of the actions of striker, Nicolas Anelka, during the match against West Ham over the Christmas period."

The agreement, which started in May 2012, was due to finish at the end of the season and Zoopla have decided not to renew.

The FA has brought in an "expert regarding the salient issues related to the gesture", which Anelka made after scoring in a 3-3 draw at Upton Park.

There is a possibility he could be handed a lengthy ban should he be charged by the FA.

Anelka meant no offence - Downing

Anelka said he made the gesture in support of performer Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, whom the French government has tried to ban from making the sign at his shows.

His actions were branded "disgusting" by France's sports minister.

"Of course, I am neither racist nor anti-Semitic and I fully assume my gesture," Anelka tweeted the day after performing the controversial celebration.

"The meaning of quenelle is anti-system. I do not know what religion has to do with this story.

"With regard to the ministers who give their own interpretations of my quenelle, they are the ones that create confusion and controversy without knowing what it really means. I ask people not to be duped by the media."

West Brom host Everton in the Premier League on Monday.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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