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.

13
Dec

Youth team reportedly racially abused; walks off field

The Guardian reports anti-racism group Kick it Out is investigating a disturbing incident that saw Watford’s U-19 side leave the pitch after alleged racial abuse in Italy.

Watford were playing Latina Calcio in a youth cup game when they were removed from the field by their manager, Dave Hughes, following an incident. Video is above, and you can see the side begin to walk off the pitch around the 5:35 mark.

30
Jan

American forward Jozy Altidore was the target of racist chants Tuesday during AZ Alkmaar’s 5-0 win over second-tier Den Boscha in the quarterfinals of the Dutch Cup.

The game was stopped by referee Reinold Wiedemeijer, but Altidore himself asked for it to be continued and he scored with a penalty. He has won praise for his calm response to the situation.

Here now is a video clip of Altidore’s interview following the racial abuse that he suffered during the Dutch cup match.

11
Jan

Udinese defender Danilo was sentenced to 1 year in jail in his native Brazil for a racist attack in a 2010 Copa de Brasil match. The video above catches Danilo in the act; he spat on his opponent and reportedly called him a “monkey.”

Given that Danilo will more than likely appeal, the sentence is likely to be reduced, and he may just get away with a fine. Still, let’s hope this serve as a big warning for all players to stop racism on the field.

3
Jan

AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng left the field in protest after being the victim of what his club described as racist abuse during a friendly on Thursday.

It was quickly established that play would not restart. Milan’s official website, acmilan.com:

"AC Milan leaves the pitch after racist abuse by a minority of Pro Patria fans at Boateng, (Mbaye) Niang, (Urby) Emanuelson and (Sulley) Muntari. The rest of the fans in the stands disassociated themselves from such racist events."

Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri told reporters: “We are disappointed and saddened by what has happened. Milan play for the right to respect all players. We need to stop these uncivilized gestures.

Read more here.