Anelka "quenelle" wanna-be punished by UEFA

UEFA has handed a 10-match ban to a Belgian futsal player who made the same 'quenelle' gesture that landed West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka with a five-game suspension.

Omar Rahou of Belgium celebrates his goal during the Futsal Euro 2014

The difference in the sanction highlights the severity of the European body's minimum ban of 10 games for racist and discriminatory offences - the Football Association and FIFA have a minimum punishment of five games.

The Belgian player, Omar Rahou, made the gesture several times during the UEFA Futsal Euro 2014 tournament when celebrating a goal.

The 'quenelle' is viewed by some in France as having anti-Semitic connotations.

UEFA said in a statement: "The fight against racism and other discriminatory behaviour is a high priority for UEFA. The European governing body has a zero-tolerance policy towards racism and discrimination on the pitch and in the stands.

"All forms of racist conduct are considered serious offences against the disciplinary regulations and are punished with the most severe sanctions.

"Following the entry into force of the new disciplinary regulations on June 1 2013, the fight against racist behaviour has been stepped up a level - resulting in more severe sanctions as deterrents."

Anelka has seven days to consider whether to appeal against his five-match ban after receiving the full written reasons from the independent regulatory commission that imposed the suspension.

The commission accepted there was no intent by West Brom striker to be anti-Semitic but under strict liability rules, he was found guilty of an aggravated offence.

Anelka insisted the salute was in support of his friend, the French comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, the person who first brought the quenelle to prominence. Dieudonne has been prosecuted for anti-Semitic offences and has been barred from entering the UK.



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