Why Nicolas Anelka should retire from football

Striker has nothing left to give to football after ‘quenelle’ controversy.

Following his 10-week spat with West Bromwich Albion and the FA over his ‘quenelle’ gesture in December, Nicolas Anelka must now walk away from football for good.

His controversial celebration in a 3-3 draw with West Ham United in December has seen the Frenchman banned, fined and sacked by authorities and employers. All the while Anelka has denied any wrongdoing and refused to apologise for his actions.

On the field, he has had a great career, having represented the likes of Real Madrid, Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and won multiple domestic leagues and a Champions League. But his ignorance in the last few months means he should now walk away from football and maintain any ounce of integrity he may still hold in the sport.

Anelka has often been keen to showcase his intelligence as an individual over the years, but should be ashamed of hiding behind the perception that he ‘did not intend to offend’. He should have fronted up and apologised straight after his controversial celebration, whether there was intention to offend or not.

Instead, he has consistently ducked any blame thrown towards him. He has tarnished West Brom’s reputation to the footballing world, losing them sponsors, credibility and most of all respect.

He has dragged out an investigation from the FA, insulted Jewish communities and belittled all those he tried to convince his innocence upon. He has been selfish, and utterly stupid in his actions. He must take time to look at himself and walk away from football.

The morality of world football will also be put to the test as of now. Who would want to sign Anelka? Baring in mind he could affect any commercial revenue and exercise the loyalty of a fan base. He must be avoided at all costs given his behaviour, and does not deserve to earn a living in football any longer.

West Brom must now move on quickly from the shambles, their victory at Swansea on Saturday being the perfect start. But for Anelka his time is up. Widely respected still amongst players and coaches across the globe, his reputation not as a footballer but as a person is now at stake.

Hindsight is a beautiful thing, and hopefully it will allow Anelka to see how wrong he has been. Not just in performing the actions he has, but the way he has disrespected colleagues and the general public the last few months.

Should Nicolas Anelka walk away from football after the ‘quenelle’ controversy?

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