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It was revealed a few days ago that Brazilian outfit Atlético Mineiro had come to an agreement with former Chelsea and Liverpool striker Nicolas Anelka. The striker was recently released from his contract with West Brom due to a controversial gesture he made several weeks ago. Anelka, who is famously one of the several journeyman in football, has played for several different clubs in his career that started with Arsenal. Since then, he has represented the likes of Liverpool, Manchester city, Chelsea, and Real Madrid.
At 35 years of age, it looked like he had played his last when the English FA banned him for five matches for the anti-Semitic gesture he made after scoring a goal recently. Anelka choose to end his contract with West Brom and leave England. In the last few days, the English FA have been looking to persuade FIFA to look into the incident and prevent Anelka from playing anywhere across the world. Then, Brazilian outfit Atlético Mineiro, who have former Barcelona superstar Ronaldinho in their ranks, tried to sign the player on a free transfer.
Now, they have revealed that the deal is off since the player failed to turn up and sign the contract. Anelka, meanwhile, stated that he was on a religious trip to Kuwait.
“He had the obligation to let us know about this in advance. Atlético is much bigger than this, the deal is off,” said the club director, Maluf. Atlético are now looking to complain to FIFA that the player and his agent broke several agreements. This could eventually lead to the former French international announced his retirement from football. In a career spanning several years, he managed to win league titles in different countries and with different clubs. His combined transfer fees have exceeded more than £ 80 million.
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Anelka’s quenelle hearing is reported to start soon. As per the sources, the disciplinary hearing on the French soccer star would start from the early quarter of last February.
The Frenchman came up with his quenelle gesture while celebrating his club West Brom’s win over West Ham last December. The striker’s gesture was not taken casually by Football Association and he was subjected to a 5-match ban following it. According to Football Association, the quenelle gesture is racist or anti-Semitic in nature and hence the ban. Anelka denied any signal of racism in his gesture and requested for personal hearing.
An independent 3-men regulatory panel would be meeting up soon next week to discuss the racist allegations imposed upon the West Brom striker. However, the hearing is supposed to run for several days.
The quenelle gesture is being defined as some inverted Nazi salutation & its invention is being credited to the soccer star’s friend Dieudonne M’bala, who is a leading French comedian. Dieudonne is prosecuted on the charge of anti-Semitism.
However, Anelka is firm on his stance that his very gesture on winning the match over West Ham was completely harmless, bearing no reference to racism. He maintained that his act was some anti-establishment antic that he gestured in honor of his buddy.
Dieudonne has been banned already from foraying into UK as the Home authority subjected the comedian to exclusion order. Meanwhile, “Kick it Out”, the famous campaign group have remarked that West Brom needed to act more honorable regarding the incident.
The controversial quenelle gesture has even resulted in Zoopla, Baggies’ sponsor, terminating their deal with West Brom. The contract would conclude by the season end.
It’s to see now that whether the well-travelled French striker would actually be able to save his career or not.
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Steve Clarke led West Bromwich Albion to 8th place at the Premier League last season which was the best finish the club has ever gotten in all of their history but it wasn’t enough for Clarke to secure his position as the head coach.
After facing their 4th consecutive defeat against Cardiff City, the official website of the club confirmed the decision to relieve Clarke from his duties and responsibilities.
Director Richard Garlick told the club’s official website: “We have reluctantly come to the decision to relieve Steve of his duties after very careful consideration.
“It has been well documented that we have not had the rub of the green in certain games this season but that does not cloud the generally disappointing points return during this calendar year, culminating in today’s fourth-successive defeat at Cardiff.
“This club’s track record proves we do not take such decisions lightly, having only enforced a change in this position three times in approximately 14 years. “But with key games coming thick and fast, we felt it was important we acted now to give the club the best possible chance of a successful outcome this season’’.
The potential list of candidates to take up the position of head coach of the club includes the likes of: Martin Jol, Roberto Di Matteo, Mike Phelan and Michael Appleton.
West Bromwich Albion have to face Hull City and Tottenham Hotspur in their next Premier League matches and were given some good news after hearing reports that the Frenchman Nicolas Anelka is making a faster recovery than initially expected from his niggling groin problem and will make it in time to play against Cardiff City.
Victor Anichebe will not be available to play after struggling with an illness so the recovery of Anelka arrived at a great moment for the club.