WEST Bromwich Albion has released the following statement regarding the gesture Nicolas Anelka made after scoring his first goal against West Ham United on Saturday:
“Nicolas was asked to explain his goal celebration by Caretaker Head Coach, Keith Downing, within minutes of the game finishing at West Ham. Nicolas said that he performed the gesture to dedicate his goal to a friend and vehemently denied having any intention to cause offence.
“Upon reporting for training this morning, Nicolas was asked by Sporting & Technical Director Richard Garlick to give a full explanation about his goal celebration, during which he again strongly denied intending to cause offence.
“The Club fully acknowledges that Nicolas’ goal celebration has caused offence in some quarters and has asked Nicolas not to perform the gesture again. Nicolas immediately agreed to adhere to this request.
“The Club is aware that The Football Association is investigating the matter and has offered its full co-operation. The Club will continue to make its own enquiries – a process which will remain confidential between the Club and Nicolas.
“Nicolas is eligible for matches whilst The FA carries out its investigation. Therefore, Nicolas will remain under consideration for first-team selection whilst The FA and Club continue their enquiries.”