New Delhi: Tottenham Hotspur left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto, has been banned for three matches and fined after being found guilty of improper conduct in relation to the Nicolas Anelka "quenelle" incident. The 30-year old who is currently in loan at Queens Park Rangers, has also been ordered to pay GBP 50,000 fine by the Football Association (FA) for making a comment on social media.
Reports suggest that he has received a warning to his future conduct and has been ordered to complete a compulsory education course. He was also ordered to pay the full costs of the hearing.
Former Real Madrid and Chelsea striker Anelka, was banned for five games and fined GBP 80,000 for making the "quenelle" gesture, which is associated with anti-Semitism, after scoring for West Brom at West Ham United in the English Premier League encounter in December 2013.
Assou-Ekotto used social micro-blogging site Twitter, to congratulate Anelka on his use of the gesture. After getting the ban Assou-Ekotto said that he had always said before about his tweet on Anelka which was merely congratulating him on an anti-establishment gesture and not on an anti-Semitic gesture.
The Cameroon international previously denied wrongdoing and said he was "disappointed" to face disciplinary action over his message.
Earlier, Anelka had claimed his use of the 'quenelle' was a show of support to his friend, the comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, but the FA ruled that the gesture was "abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper", and the striker was later sacked by West Brom. He was initially banned for five matches and fined GBP 80,000.
Hull City striker Yannick Sagbo, another player who took to social media in support of Anelka, received a GBP 15,000 fine in April 2014.
Quenelle is a gesture that involves touching or gripping your shoulder with one hand while holding the palm of your other hand outstretched and pointing to the ground Many view the gesture as anti-Semitic, reminiscent of the Nazi salute.