Racism Watchdog Slams British Soccer League for Inaction on 'Nazi' Celebration

Why No 'Quenelle' Punishment for Nicolas Anelka?

getty images

By JTA

Published January 16, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A leading watchdog on soccer racism in Britain accused England’s Football Association of foot-dragging in probing a player who performed a gesture which is considered anti-Semitic.

The watchdog, Kick It Out, urged the Football Association to wrap up its investigation into the Dec. 28 action of Nicolas Anelka, a striker for the West Bromwich Albion team who performed the quenelle — a gesture reminiscent of the Hitler salute which was invented by the anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala.

A statement published on Wednesday on Kick It Out’s website said that the organization, “like others, is very frustrated at the length of time taken to investigate this issue and, as usual, has taken criticism, particularly from community organizations, who feel deeply and rightly aggrieved by the gesture.”

Anelka said he was not anti-Semitic and explained the gesture was a personal tribute to Dieudonne. But the European Jewish Congress and other groups called for his immediate suspension and criticized Kick It Out and the Football Association for staying silent. Several other groups also have criticized the two bodies.

In its statement on Wednesday, Kick It Out stated its willingness to condemn anti-Semitism and other racism but expressed no criticism of Anelka or the quenelle – a gesture which France’s interior minister, Manuel Valls, this month said was “an inverted Nazi salute and a gesture of anti-Semitic hate.”

“While an investigation is being undertaken, it is protocol for Kick It Out not to comment on matters which might prejudice the outcome,” the statement read.

According to Kick It Out’s statement, “in spite of requests from Kick It Out for information about the progress of the investigation, there has been total silence from the FA until Friday 10 January,” when the association stated that it would appoint an expert to aiding the investigation, and there would be no further update until Jan. 20.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.