FIFA right to pursue global Anelka ban

Footballing body considering continued ban for Nicolas Anelka at next club


The Football Association have contacted FIFA to request that Nicolas Anelka’s five-game ban is carried across into his next club, and it’s a good move.

Anelka was banned for five games and fined £80, 000 by the FA last month, but has now left West Bromwich Albion after being sacked for ‘gross misconduct’ on Friday night. The FA have expressed their desire to get the ban applied at whichever club Anelka may join next.

The ban would be completely justified given Anelka’s ignorance of the situation and the refusal to admit he caused offence. It would also send out a strong message from FIFA that actions of this nature are not tolerated in any country. Failure to adhere to the request on FIFA’s part would be weak, and simply wrong.

Why should he not be punished because he is playing elsewhere? Although he may try to run from the situation as we have seen, others must make sure he is not allowed to.

Anelka was strongly linked with a move to Lazio in January. Should the Italian outfit renew their interest in the striker then FIFA should be doubly cautious. Italy has been infamous in recent years for racism towards players, the likes of Kevin Prince Boateng and Mario Balotelli just a few high-profile names that have had to suffer the intolerable abuse.

FIFA imposing the global ban upon Anelka, particularly in the likes of the Italian leagues, would be a strong statement to all fans who encourage racial and/or religious based abuse. It must be stopped and with it players who have helped, intentionally or otherwise, perpetuate its unwanted, but still existent place in football.

FIFA stand the test of justice over this case. They have had far too many troubles in recent years with allegations of corruption and their poor approach to racist issues. Sepp Blatter has spoken of the body striving for ‘transparency’, and this latest behaviour from Anelka must continue to be punished for them to hold any credibility.


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