Soccer player fined over $25,000 for supporting anti-Semitic gesture

ByJTA
April 23, 2014 09:14

The British soccer association fined player over breach of league's rules against abusive or insulting speech.

Yannick Sagbo

Yannick Sagbo, soccer player fined for posting message supporting Nicolas Anelka’s quenelle gesture. (photo credit:Wikimedia Commons)

A soccer player from the Ivory Coast for Britain’s Hull City team has been fined for posting a message of support for Nicolas Anelka’s quenelle gesture on social media.

The Football Association on Tuesday fined player Yannick Sagbo more than $25,000 for the action following an Independent Regulatory Commission Hearing, where he admitted a breach of the soccer league’s Rule E3, under which players are prohibited from making comments that are “abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper.” An aggravated breach of E3 includes comments that include “a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief.”



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Sagbo also was ordered to attend a “compulsory education course.” Once a written decision is issued, Sagbo or his team can appeal the decision.

The quenelle was invented by Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, a French comedian who has multiple convictions for inciting hatred against Jews. Jewish groups say the gesture — which involves folding one arm over one’s chest while pointing downward with the other arm — is offensive and alludes to the Hitler salute. It is widely considered to be anti-Semitic.


Anelka, a French soccer player who played with Britain’s West Bromwich Albion team, in late February was fined and given a five-match suspension for performing the gesture during a December game. He was later fired by the team.

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