FA charges players for improper conduct over ‘quenelle’ tweets
The FA has charged Yannick Sagbo and Benoit Assou-Ekotto with improper conduct for social media posts relating to the ‘quenelle’ gesture – and warned Samir Nasri and Mamadou Sakho over similar incidents.
The salute came to the fore when former West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka made the arm gesture when celebrating a goal against West Ham on Dec. 28.
An independent regulatory commission last month handed down a five-match ban to Anelka after finding it "did contain a reference to anti-Semitism" in that it is strongly associated with his friend, the French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, who has been convicted seven times of anti-Semitic crimes.
The FA had argued for a more severe sanction and has now confirmed action against four further players. An FA statement read: "The FA has progressed its investigation into four cases concerning social media postings relating to the quenelle gesture involving Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Tottenham Hotspur on loan at Queens Park Rangers), Yannick Sagbo (Hull City), Samir Nasri (Manchester City) and Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool)."
"Having considered the particular facts of each case extremely carefully in consultation with our appointed expert, The FA has today charged Mr Assou-Ekotto and Mr Sagbo with improper conduct contrary to FA Rule E3 in relation to their postings on Twitter.
"Both players have until April 8 2014 to respond to the charges. The FA has issued Mr. Nasri with a formal warning. Mr. Sakho has been reminded of his responsibilities as a participant.
"As the cases involving Mr. Assou-Ekotto and Mr. Sagbo are ongoing, The FA will make no further comment on any of these four cases at this time. Assou-Ekotto went on Twitter after Anelka’s salute to post what translates from French as "I congratulate you on the beautiful quenelle."
Sagbo also took to the social media network in the aftermath of the incident, posting a picture of Anelka’s celebration and a message of support for both the striker and Dieudonne.
The charge of improper conduct, which is classed differently to the Anelka case as it was not on the field, is unlikely to be as severe as the one handed down to Anelka.