Nicolas Anelka was banned because the 'quenelle' gesture he used to celebrate a goal is "strongly associated with anti-Semitic sentiments and anti-Zionist politics" according to
the independent regulatory commission that ruled against him.
The commission took the view that while there was no proof West Bromwich Albion's 34-year-old French striker was "expressing or promoting" anti-Semitism when he used the inverted Nazi salute, the gesture was in itself offensive enough to warrant his five-game ban.
Anelka denied it was an anti-Semitic gesture, saying
the salute was in solidarity with his friend, French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, who invented it and uses it. Anelka's leading counsel Pushpinder Saini argued
that the quenelle was not necessarily anti-Semitic but anti-establishment.
Anelka has until March 13 to appeal.