28
Dec

Anelka in hot water for controversial goal celebration

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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.

26
Oct

Five players sent off in massive brawl at end of Argentinian match

Ah yes, the Argentinian league is always such a fun, family-friendly affair.

In what unfortunately is too common of an occurrence — last week, a brawl broke out between Boca Juniors and Godoy Cruz — two Argentinian club teams came to blows at the end of a league match, resulting in five red cards.

Arsenal de Sarandi were playing Gimnasia on Saturday with a chance to close in on league leaders Newell’s Old Boys, but after blowing a lead in the second half and with time ticking away, Arsenal’s players grew frustrated by the opposition’s apparent time-wasting. In stoppage time, tempers boiled over when Gimnasia refused to give Arsenal possession back after a punctured ball had to be replaced on the sideline.

Arsenal thought this was bad sportsmanship leading to the brawl. In the end, two of Arsenal’s players and three Gimnasia players were sent off for their part in the carnage.

From PA Sport:

The match finished in heated fashion after a dispute about the state of the ball and what the home side saw as time-wasting.

The referee was forced to halt the match as police came on the pitch to attempt to break things up, and in the end Damian Perez and Nicolas Aguirre for Arsenal were sent off, as well as Gimnasia’s Ariel Garcia, Franco Mussis and Ricardo Diaz.

Could be worse, though. Imagine if that crazy referee from Kuwait was in charge of this match!

H/T Dirty Tackle

27
Mar

There are bad tackles, and then there is this.

Ukrainian player Taras Stepanenko nearly karate-kicked a Moldovan defender’s head off with one of the most dangerous plays we’ve ever seen. Stepanenko was very rightfully given a straight red card for this horrific challenge, and we have a feeling this won’t be the last we hear about it.