Nicolas Anelka and FA accept five-match ban for 'quenelle` gesture

Updated: Mar 14, 2014, 10:07 AM IST

London: Nicolas Anelka has decided not to appeal against the five-match ban imposed on the West Bromwich Albion striker for his controversial `quenelle` gesture, the FA said on Thursday.

The 34-year-old French forward was suspended for his goal celebration during a Premier League match against West Ham United.

Anelka had until Thursday to appeal but the FA told Reuters the player had confirmed to them he would not be doing so.

The soccer body had already said it would not be appealing to extend the sanction either.

"We do not consider there is a real prospect of successfully appealing to extend the sanction," the FA declared on its website.

"Having carefully considered the written reasons of the Independent Regulatory Commission together with our appointed QC, The FA confirm they will not be appealing the sanction imposed on Nicolas Anelka," it added.

"The grounds of appeal available to The FA are limited to legal challenges or to circumstances in which the sanction imposed is `so unduly lenient as to be unreasonable`."

The regulatory commission had found that the `quenelle` gesture Anelka used was "strongly associated with anti-Semitic sentiments and anti-Zionist politics".

It ruled that while there was no proof Anelka was "expressing or promoting" anti-Semitism when he used the inverted Nazi salute, the gesture was in itself offensive enough to warrant his five-match ban.