Premier League

Anelka 'quenelle' hearing begins

West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka performs the controversial gesture.
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Nicolas Anelka's disciplinary hearing into his alleged anti-Semitic 'quenelle' salute starts later on Tuesday.

A three-man independent regulatory commission will hear the case which is expected to be completed by the end of this week.

The West Brom striker faces a minimum five-match suspension under the Football Association's new anti-discrimination rules if he is found guilty.

Anelka has been charged with performing the gesture - which is allegedly anti-Semitic - after scoring during his club's match against West Ham on December 28.

The Frenchman denies the salute was anti-Semitic and requested a personal hearing.

Anelka was charged last month with an aggravated offense after making a gesture that was judged to be "abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper".

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The aggravated breach was that it included "a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief".

UEFA president Michel Platini said at the weekend the European body would take a "zero tolerance" approach to the quenelle.

The quenelle has been described as an inverted Nazi salute and its invention has been credited to French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, a friend of Anelka's, who was been prosecuted in France for anti-Semitism.

Anelka insists his goal celebration was an anti-establishment gesture in support of Dieudonne.

Last month, Dieudonne was banned from entering the UK after the Home Office made him subject to an exclusion order.

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