Anelka in hot water for controversial goal celebration


Photo courtesy of Action Images.

You’d figure players would learn by now not to celebrate goals with controversial gestures. But Nicolas Anelka became the latest professional to engulf himself in debate after celebrating his first of two goals against West Ham with a gesture described in his native France as a “Nazi salute in reverse.”

The gesture, as seen above, is dubbed 'la quenelle' and was made infamous by French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, who faces a ban from performing in his country for a history of sending anti-Semitic jibes in his shows. Dieudonne has also repeatedly been fined for hate speech, but apparently he’s found a fan in Anelka.

In fact, here’s a picture of Anelka doing the pose with M’bala M’bala himself:

imageImage via 101GG

West Brom manager Stewart Downing said Anelka’s celebration was dedicated to Dieudonne, and that anything else read into the gesture "is absolute rubbish."

Anelka won’t likely get a pass for repeating a gesture that many believe to have anti-Semitic connotations, even if he didn’t realize that at the time.

Whether the FA will take action against Anelka seems only a formality at this point, and rightly so. The Frenchman, who scored his first goals of the season Saturday (and first in the English game in two and a half years) may, and should, have to wait a long time before getting a chance to add to his tally.


Porno site, weathercaster pay bets after France seals World Cup ticket


Pornography mogul Marc Dorcel found an avalanche of users eager to cash in on his bet. (Image provided by Getty)

There are a few things we learned when France dug themselves out of a huge hole and qualified for the World Cup against Ukraine:

  1. Never bet against the down-but-not-out Les Bleus
  2. The French have an affinity for bets involving nudity

First on the docket, one of France’s biggest pornography producers (so we’ve heard), Marc Dorcel. Owner of website of a mature nature, Dorcel offered to remove the pay wall on his site if France managed to qualify.

Once the final whistle blew and France were through, Dorcel’s site crashed in 45 seconds. To Dorcel and his staff’s credit, they tried to protect themselves against the droves of members looking for free content, but alas, accidents happen.

Of course, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. We all know how guys react to free porn:

Ghislain Faribeault, Dorcel’s Vice President of Media, told the French press:

"Seeing the score change in a positive way, we started to try and beef up our servers and prepare for scalability. We decided this operation in a bit in a hurry. But we did not expect such a result!"

Luckily, it seems nobody left empty-handed. Dorcel’s company quickly set up additional website to help handle the load, and users got the free media they were assured.

Now, not to be outdone, French weathercaster Doria Tillier had a lot of the web wondering if she’d come through on her promise to do the weather in the buff once Les Bleus sealed their ticket to next year’s summer bash in Brazil.


Tillier has seen some time on the silver screen as well as the TV screen. (Image: Getty)

Well, Tillier came through on her promise. Indeed, scantily glad in nothing but a pair of boots, Tillier ran around a lush green field while cheering:

You didn’t really expect to SEE anything unmentionable, did you? It might be foreign TV, but there ARE standards of decency.

Speaking of decency, our favorite part of the video? The sound of nearby church bells ringing as Tillier frolics about. We’re hoping nobody saw anything too titillating.

(h/t 101GreatGoals)


Tahiti midfielder was Fernando Torres’ honeymoon tour guide in 2007


It truly is a small world.

While Spain’s 10-0 destruction of Tahiti in the FIFA Confederations Cup dominated the headlines, there was a very interesting subplot between the two teams.

Tahiti midfielder Efrain Arenada is only a part-time player, like many of his teammates. When he’s not on the pitch, he works as a tour guide for the French Polynesian island. One of his guests in 2007? Fernando Torres.

Torres traveled to Tahiti for his honeymoon six years ago when he was still a member of Atletico Madrid. Arenada recalls the meeting between the two:

"Those days were wonderful. I used to greet people with a flower wreath when they arrived to the airport. I received Torres, took him to his hotel and took him back to the airport for his departure. In fact, I remember he left his honeymoon because he had to go sign for Liverpool."

While Arenada is in Brazil as the 24th man, only there as a substitute if someone on the 23-man Tahiti roster gets injured, he was still able to see Torres unleash a four goal assault on his overmatched country, but he understands the difference between the teams.

"We are aware that there’s a huge difference between our team against the others. Our message is that we are here to enjoy our time and have respect for the others. I mean, we are not here to kick or injure other players."

(H/T Marca)


Newcastle treats new signings to some home cooking


After seemingly signing an entire French outfit during the transfer window, Newcastle United now has an incredible 14 French-speaking players on their squad. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the club has undergone some changes, starting with la cuisine. The club decided to welcome its new patrons with a full French menu in a cafeteria decked out in French flags.

Not sure how the rest of the players feel about this, but they’re in the minority now so…c’est la vie!

Picture courtesy of NU player (non French)