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Anelka hearing continues into second day

26 February 2014, 17:56

London - Nicolas Anelka's disciplinary hearing over his controversial 'quenelle' goal celebration went into a second day on Wednesday.

French striker Anelka, now with English Premier League side West Bromwich Albion, faces a minimum five-match ban for making a gesture condemned in France as anti-Semitic after scoring the first of his two goals in a 3-3 draw against West Ham on December 28.

However, the 34-year-old has denied the gesture was anti-Semitic and requested a personal hearing.

England's governing Football Association had confirmed Monday the hearing would start Tuesday but refused to specify a location.

Such hearings are often held at the FA's Wembley headquarters in London but Anelka was pictured on Sky Sports entering the Grove Hotel -- often used by the England team as a training base -- in Watford, north of London on Wednesday.

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

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

The quenelle, described as an inverted Nazi salute, has been popularised by French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, a friend of Anelka's and who was been prosecuted in France for various racial offences.

Anelka has maintained his goal celebration was an anti-establishment gesture in support of Dieudonne and that he is neither racist nor anti-Semitic.

Last month, Dieudonne was banned from entering the United Kingdom after the Home Office, Britain's interior ministry, made him the subject of an exclusion order.

- AFP 

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