(photo credit: Reuters)
The governing body of English soccer is to investigate an alleged anti-Semitic gesture made by West
Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka during Saturday's 3-3 Premier League draw at West Ham United.
A spokesman for the Football Association said his organization would be launching a probe after
Anelka's actions provoked widespread criticism.
The former France
striker marked the first of his two goals
against West Ham with an apparent "quenelle" hand signal made famous
by French comedian Dieudonne
M'bala M'bala that is linked to anti-Semitism.
"Anelka's gesture is a shocking provocation, disgusting," said
French Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron
on his Twitter feed. "There's
no place for anti-Semitism on the football field."
France is considering banning performances by Dieudonna, the black comedian whose
shows have repeatedly insulted the memory of Holocaust victims and could
threaten public order, Interior Minister Manuel Valls said on Friday.
He said his ministry is studying legal ways to ban shows by Dieudonna, a comedian repeatedly fined for hate speech who ran in
the 2009 European Parliament elections at the head of an "Anti-Zionist
List" including far-right activists.
Valls announced the move
after Jewish groups complained to President Francois Hollande about
Dieudonne's trademark straight-arm gesture, which they call a "Nazi
salute in reverse" and link to a growing frequency of anti-Semitic
remarks and acts in France.