Britain’s Football Association Fines Soccer Player for Quenelle Support

Hull City's Yannick Sagbo also ordered to attend a compulsory education course.

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Hull City's Yannick Sagbo celebrates his goal against Sheffield United during the English FA Cup semifinal match, April 13, 2014.
Hull City's Yannick Sagbo celebrates his goal against Sheffield United during the English FA Cup semifinal match, April 13, 2014.Credit: AP
JTA
JTA

A soccer player from the Ivory Coast for Britain’s Hull City team has been fined for posting a message of support for Nicolas Anelka’s quenelle gesture on social media.

The Football Association on Tuesday fined player Yannick Sagbo more than $25,000 for the action following an Independent Regulatory Commission Hearing, where he admitted a breach of the soccer league’s Rule E3, under which players are prohibited from making comments that are “abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper.” An aggravated breach of E3 includes comments that include “a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief.”

Sagbo also was ordered to attend a “compulsory education course.” Once a written decision is issued, Sagbo or his team can appeal the decision.
The quenelle was invented by Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, a French comedian who has multiple convictions for inciting hatred against Jews. Jewish groups say the gesture — which involves folding one arm over one’s chest while pointing downward with the other arm — is offensive and alludes to the Hitler salute. It is widely considered to be anti-Semitic.

Anelka, a French soccer player who played with Britain’s West Bromwich Albion team, in late February was fined and given a five-match suspension for performing the gesture during a December game. He was later fired by the team.

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