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Downing not expecting Anelka punishment

By Football News



Keith Downing is not expecting West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka to be punished for his goal celebration during the 3-3 draw with West Ham.

Anelka scored twice as West Brom came from behind on two occasions to earn a point at Upton Park on Saturday, but caused a stir after the former Arsenal, Real Madrid and Manchester City forward followed his first of the game with a gesture known in France as the 'quenelle'.

The gesture, made famous by comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, is said to have anti-Semitic connotations and has been described as a 'Nazi salute in reverse'. Dieudonne, though, has insisted that it is anti-Zionist.

And interim West Brom head coach Downing was quick to defend the 34-year-old Anelka.

"No, not at all," Downing responded when asked if he is expecting disciplinary action to be taken against Anelka.

"It was dedicated to a friend of his who is a comedian in France. He's totally unaware of what the problems were or the speculation thrown around.

"He's absolutely totally surprised by it.

"It's a gesture he uses in his act and the speculation, we can stop that now, I think it's absolutely rubbish really."