Anelka receives backing from West Brom over goal celebration
West Bromwich Albion have confirmed they will continue to select striker Nicolas Anelka following his alleged inverted Nazi salute, which is linked to anti-Semitism - after scoring in the 3-3 draw on 28 December. The French striker has insisted that no offence was intended and that he was simply expressing solidarity with his friend, the French comedian Dieudonne M'bala.
A club statement read: "Nicolas was asked to explain his goal celebration by Keith Downing within minutes of the game finishing at West Ham.
"The club fully acknowledges that Nicolas' goal celebration has caused offence in some quarters and has asked Nicolas not to perform the gesture again."
"Nicolas said that he performed the gesture to dedicate his goal to a friend and vehemently denied having any intention to cause offence.
"Upon reporting for training on Monday morning, Nicolas was asked by sporting director Richard Garlick to give a full explanation about his goal celebration, during which he again strongly denied intending to cause offence.
"The club fully acknowledges that Nicolas' goal celebration has caused offence in some quarters and has asked Nicolas not to perform the gesture again.
"Nicolas immediately agreed to adhere to this request.
"The club is aware that the Football Association is investigating the matter and has offered its full co-operation. The club will continue to make its own enquiries - a process which will remain confidential between the club and Nicolas.
"Nicolas is eligible for matches whilst the FA carries out its investigation.
"Therefore, Nicolas will remain under consideration for first-team selection whilst the FA and club continue their enquiries."
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