Organisations call on Nicolas Anelka to clarify his actions.
Show Racism the Red Card and HOPE not hate call upon West Bromwich Albion footballer Nicholas Anelka to clarify the intent behind his actions when he celebrated his goal against West Ham by making an allegedly antisemitic gesture, the "quenelle" described by many as an "inverted Nazi salute.". The salute was created by the controversial French comedian Dieudonné M’bala and is clearly used as an anti-Jewish gesture.
M'bala is a notorious antisemite in France and is closely linked to many fascists and Holocaust deniers. The Godfather of one of his children is Jean Marie Le Pen, the former leader of the far-right Front National and himself convicted for Holocaust denial.
The French Sports Minister, Valerie Fourneyonron has described the actions by Anelka as "a shocking provocation, disgusting" rightfully commenting further that there is "No place for anti-Semitism and incitement to hatred on football field."
We would ask that Nicholas apologise and make clear that not only is he not an antisemite but that he also condemns all forms of antisemitism. The gesture, and the words of M'bala, are unacceptable and antisemitism should play no part in any legitimate concerns or criticism that one may hold of Israel. The issues are completely different.
Antisemitism is racism and racism is totally unacceptable in football as it is in the wider society.
Nicholas Anelka must make clear his rejection of racism and antisemitism.