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FA charge Hull's Yannick Sagbo and QPR's Benoit Assou Ekotto in relation to 'quenelle' gesture

 

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The Football Association have charged Hull striker Yannick Sagbo and QPR loanee Benoit Assou-Ekotto with improper conduct for social media posts relating to the 'quenelle' gesture.

Manchester City's Samir Nasri and Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho were also investigated by the governing body but have escaped further action.

West Brom's Nicolas Anelka was given a five game ban by an independent commission after using the 'quenelle' gesture, which has anti Semitic connotations, during a match in December.

He was subsequently sacked by West Brom in March, with the club citing 'gross misconduct' as the reason, though Anelka had previously claimed he had terminated his contract with the club. .

The FA, who has wanted a more severe sanction for Anelka, have now confirmed action against four further players after social media posts relating to the quenelle gesture.

A statement released on the www.thefa.com read: "The FA has progressed its investigation into four cases concerning social media postings relating to the quenelle gesture involving Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Tottenham Hotspur on loan at Queens Park Rangers), Yannick Sagbo (Hull City), Samir Nasri (Manchester City) and Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool)."

"Having considered the particular facts of each case extremely carefully in consultation with our appointed expert, The FA has today charged Mr Assou-Ekotto and Mr Sagbo with improper conduct contrary to FA Rule E3 in relation to their postings on Twitter."

"It is alleged that in each case the comment was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper, contrary to Rule E3(1). It is further alleged that each players' breach of Rule E3(1) was an "Aggravated Breach" as defined in Rule E3(2), as the comment included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief."

"Both players have until April 8 2014 to respond to the charges."

"The FA has issued Mr Nasri with a formal warning. Mr Sakho has been reminded of his res­pon­sibi­liti­es as a participant."

"As the cases involving Mr Assou-Ekotto and Mr Sagbo are ongoing, The FA will make no further comment on any of these four cases at this time."

Assou-Ekotto, who is currently on loan at Championship side QPR from Spurs, gave a show of support to Anelka after he made the gesture, tweeting in French what translated as "I congratulate you on the beautiful quenelle".

Sagbo, also tweeted about the gesture, posting a picture of Anelka's celebration and a message of support for both the striker and French comedian Dieudonne, who originated the gesture.

Assou-Ekotto and Sagbo could still face suspension if found guilty but it would unlikely be as severe as the one handed down to Anelka, while Manchester City midfielder Nasri and Liverpool defender Sakho have escaped punishment.

Nasri was pictured performing the gesture and took to Twitter on December 30 to explain his actions.

"The pose in the picture i posted over 2 months ago symbolises being against the system," he said via his account @SamNasri19.

"Its has absolutely nothing to do with being anti semitic or against jewish people. I apologise for causing any hurt to anyone who might have been mislead into thinking this means anything of that nature".

Sakho was also pictured performing the gesture but said in November that he was tricked into performing the gesture.

He wrote on his Twitter account: "This photo was taken six months ago, I did not know the meaning of this gesture, I got trapped!"

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