1. In or around the 40th minute of the match he made a gesture (known as the ‘quenelle’) which was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper, contrary to FA Rule E3(1); and
2. That the misconduct was an “Aggravated Breach” as defined by FA Rule E3(2) in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief.
The Independent Regulatory Commission found charge 1 proved.
It found charge 2 proved also; but then it went on to say: “We did not find that Nicolas Anelka is an Anti-Semite or that he intended to express or promote Anti-Semitism by his use of the quenelle.”
So on the question of antisemitism: it was found that his gesture was aggravated by a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief, but it did not find that Anelka was himself “an antisemite” or that he had an antisemitic intent.
It is the FA’s position that Anelka performed an antisemitic gesture but without intent to promote antisemitism or without being, himself, an antisemite.
Originally Anelka had said that the gesture was only performed in solidarity with his friend Dieudonné.
It seems to be the FA’s position that Anelka did not know that the gesture, or that Dieudonné who invented it, were antisemitic. This is difficult to believe, particularly given that he described Dieudonné as his friend.
Dieudonné has been found guilty six times in France of antisemitism; he is a well known Holocaust denier; Anelka is French, and so, it is to be assumed, is more familiar with these issues than most people in the UK, at least before he decided to import them there. The match was screened live in France.
They said what he did was antisemitic (aggravated by race etc) but they accepted his claim that he was stupid, and didn’t know what he was doing. I’m not convinced he’s so stupid.