Anelka vows no ‘quenelle’
French striker Nicolas Anelka has agreed not to perform the controversial quenelle salute that has been linked with anti-Semitism, his club West Bromwich Albion announced on Monday. Anelka, 34, sparked a media storm on Saturday when he celebrated the first of his two goals in the 3-3 Premier League draw at West Ham United by putting one arm across his chest and straightening the other. The gesture, popularized by French comedian Dieudonne, has been described by critics in France as an “inverted Nazi salute,” but Anelka insisted on Twitter that it was merely “a dedication” to the comic. However, with England’s Football Association having launched an investigation into the matter, West Brom have asked Anelka not to repeat the gesture. “Upon reporting for training this morning [Monday], Nicolas was asked by sporting and technical director Richard Garlick to give a full explanation about his goal celebration during which he again strongly denied intending to cause offense,” read a statement published on the club Web site. “The club fully acknowledges that Nicolas’s goal celebration has caused offense in some quarters and has asked Nicolas not to perform the gesture again. Nicolas immediately agreed to adhere to this request.” Dieudonne has been fined seven times for defamation, insult, hate speech and for racial discrimination. On Monday, prosecutors in Paris launched a probe to ascertain whether he was guilty of inciting racial hatred when he mentioned the “gas chambers” in reference to a Jewish journalist during a performance on Dec. 19.
Parker sorry for ‘quenelle’
San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker is apologizing for a photograph that shows him making the same gesture with anti-Semitic connotations also made by French soccer star Nicolas Anelka this weekend. The photograph shows Parker and a French comedian making a gesture known in France as a quenelle, which critics describe as inverted Nazi salute. Parker said on Monday in a statement released by the Spurs that the photograph was taken three years ago. Parker, who is French, said he did not know at the time that “it could be in any way offensive or harmful.” He said he thought it was part of a comedy act.
Akeem Adams dies at 22
Trinidadian international defender Akeem Adams has died after suffering a brain hemorrhage, his Hungarian club Ferencvaros confirmed on Monday. The 22-year-old, capped eight times for Trinidad and Tobago, suffered a heart attack after a training session in Budapest on Sept. 25. He had been hospitalized since and underwent three operations, having his left leg amputated to alleviate circulatory problems. Adams had been awaiting a heart transplant. “We have the painful task of announcing the death of our Trinidad and Tobago player, Akeem Adams on Dec. 30,” his club said on its Web site. Adams signed for Ferencvaros last summer and had played six matches for his new club.
Burns to defend vs Crawford
Scottish boxer Ricky Burns will make a mandatory defense of his WBO lightweight title against US challenger Terence Crawford in Glasgow on March 1. Burns has not fought since his draw against Raymundo Beltran in September last year, when he suffered a broken jaw in the second round. Crawford, who has never fought outside the US, is unbeaten in 22 professional bouts with 16 knockouts. It will be Burns’ fifth title defense.