West Brom forward Nicolas Anelka’s hearing will begin next week, following a charge over the striker’s controversial gesture during a clash against West Ham United in December, 2013.
Anelka was officially charged by the Football Association with an aggravated offence when he displayed the controversial “quenelle” gesture during a goal celebration.
The FA described the sign as indecent and abusive and is hoping to have a final decision by the end of next week.
The Frenchman claims that the gesture symbolised an “anti-establishment” stance and was not intended to be anti-Semitic or racist, but rather, a tribute to French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, who has been credited with creating and popularising the gesture.
If found guilty, Anelka will face a minimum five-match ban due to the new anti-racism laws.
The 34-year-old has assembled his own legal team to prepare his defence after he was served with a lengthy document outlining the charge.
The Baggies, meanwhile, will conduct their own investigation once the case is finished, but Anelka will still remain eligible for selection until such time.
post by greezy