Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 15th 2014 Contents A44
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, March 15, 2014
WEST BROMWICH---Striker Nicolas Anelka
announced he has terminated his contract
with Premier League club West Bromwich
Albion with immediate effect yesterday after
being suspended for five matches by the
Football Association for a racially aggravated
The former France forward, whose career
has been marred by controversies, was sus-
pended last month for performing a gesture
which is known in France as a "quenelle" and
regarded as anti-Semitic.
Anelka said on his Twitter account yesterday
that he decided to leave the club because he
could not accept West Brom s conditions for
being allowed back into the squad.
"Proposals have been made for me to rejoin
the group under certain conditions that I can t
accept," Anelka said in French on his 35th
birthday. "Wishing to keep my integrity, I
took the decision to free myself and end the
contract linking me with West Bromwich
Albion until 2014, with immediate effect."
In January, Anelka hinted that he could end
his career at the end of the season but also
mentioned interests from clubs including
Lazio in signing him.
Anelka performed the quenelle as he cel-
ebrated scoring in West Brom s 3-3 draw with
West Ham last December. The gesture involves
pointing one straightened arm downward
while touching the shoulder with the opposite
hand. It was popularized by French comedian
Dieudonne M Bala M Bala, who has been
convicted for inciting racial hatred and anti-
After his suspension was announced at the
end of last month, both Anelka and West
Brom decided not to appeal the sanction. In
Anelka s witness statement, the striker said
he became aware of Dieudonne in about 2000,
met him once, and watched recordings of his
shows. He said he made the gesture "purely
to say hello to my friend."
Anelka, who had previously been pho-
tographed performing the salute, joined West
Brom last summer after two disappointing
seasons at Shanghai Shenhua and Juventus.
The former Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester
City, Bolton and Chelsea player is one of the
most talented and controversial players France
has produced since former Manchester United
great Eric Cantona.
After growing up in a Parisian suburb, Anel-
ka started his career at Paris Saint-Germain
and was quickly spotted by Arsenal manager
Arsene Wenger, who signed him in 1997.
Known for his immense technical skills,
Anelka played a big part in the Gunners win-
ning both the Premier League and the FA
Cup but missed out on a place in the France
team that won the 1998 World Cup.
Anelka s sometimes nonchalant attitude
and apparent lack of commitment to the team
started to anger the Arsenal fans, who gave
him the nickname "Le Sulk." Anelka then
joined Real Madrid, where he won the Cham-
pions League, before moving to PSG, Liver-
pool, Manchester City, Fenerbahce and Bolton.
The much-travelled Frenchman then struck
up an electric partnership with Didier Drogba
at Chelsea, winning the Premier League title
and two FA Cups with the Blues.
Anelka caused the biggest controversy of
his career with the French national team,
when he was sent home from the 2010 World
Cup after insulting then-coach Raymond
Domenech in the dressing room.
The stubborn Anelka refused to apologize
and ended his international career in the wake
of the scandal with 14 goals in 69 appearances.
West Bromwich Albion's Nicolas Anelka, right, as he gestures to celebrate his goal against
West Ham United during their English Premier League football match at Upton Park, London
on December 28. AP PHOTO
Anelka leaves West Brom
following quenelle ban
BERLIN---Uli Hoeness won t appeal against
his prison sentence for tax evasion, and stepped
down yesterday as president of European cham-
pion Bayern Munich to prevent damage to the
club he described as his "life s work."
Hoeness, one of the most prominent figures
in German football, was convicted on Thursday
of evading millions of euros (dollars) in tax
through an undeclared Swiss bank account and
sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison. The verdict
drew a largely positive response in a country
where tax evasion is deeply and increasingly
Hoeness lawyer initially said he would file an
appeal. However, Hoeness said in a brief state-
ment on Bayern s website that he decided after
talking with his family to accept the verdict.
"This corresponds with my personal under-
standing of decency, attitude and personal
responsibility," he wrote. "Tax evasion was the
mistake of my life. I am facing up to the con-
sequences of this mistake."
Hoeness said he was stepping down imme-
diately as club president and as the chairman
of Bayern s supervisory board. He said he wanted
"to prevent damage to my club."
"Bayern Munich is my life s work and it will
always remain so," he said. "I will remain linked
with this great club and its people in other ways
as long as I live."
Hoeness thanked Bayern supporters and his
friends for their support. The club stood by him
through the investigation.
Last year s revelations that Hoeness was the
target of a tax evasion investigation prompted
Chancellor Angela Merkel s spokesman to say
the German leader was disappointed in the
Bayern president, who also was well-known for
his generosity and charity work. Hoeness sup-
ported an effort to improve the integration of
immigrants that Merkel also backed.
"I don t comment on court decisions, of
course, but I can say that the fact Uli Hoeness
has now accepted this verdict commands my
highest respect," Merkel said after a meeting
with business leaders in Munich.
Hoeness lawyers argued for probation in the
tax case, based on the fact that he turned himself
in to authorities last year. Prosecutors sought a
5 1/2-year sentence; the legal maximum for tax
evasion is 10 years.
Prosecutors also are entitled to appeal, but
made no immediate decision on whether they
Bayern said Herbert Hainer, the chief executive
of sportswear maker Adidas, will serve as super-
visory board chairman until further notice. He
was previously deputy chairman.
There was no immediate word on who will
succeed Hoeness as Bayern president.
Coach Pep Guardiola said he had seen in his
nine months at Bayern "how important Uli Hoe-
ness is for this club."
"He is my friend and he will remain my friend,"
Guardiola said at a news conference ahead of
today s home match against third-place Bayer
Leverkusen. "We have to carry on with what we
have learned from Uli."
Bayern won the Bundesliga, Champions League
and German Cup last season and could repeat
that treble this season.
As a player, Hoeness was a Bayern star who
won the 1972 European Championship and the
1974 World Cup with West Germany and three
straight European Cups---the predecessor of the
Champions League---before retiring in 1979 with
chronic knee problems.
Under his guidance as general manager, Bayern
built financial reserves rarely seen in debt-ridden
European football. (AP)
his Bayern job
MADRID---Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbe-
loa will be sidelined for nearly two months
by a knee injury, putting the Spain interna-
tional s participation at the World Cup in jeop-
Arbeloa said his right knee is worse than he
thought "but if everything goes well, I ll be out
from six-to-eight weeks."
The 31-year-old right back has been a regular
for Spain since it won the 2008 European Cham-
pionship, but was left out of coach Vicente del
Bosque s last squad list.
Nevertheless, the former Liverpool player
hopes to return by May.
"Hopefully I make it back in time to play in
the Champions League final if Madrid make it
and the World Cup if I m picked," Arbeloa said.
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said yesterday
that Dani Carvajal will take over for Arbeloa,
who has one goal from 28 appearances for the
"Arbeloa s absence is a big loss for us,"
Ancelotti said. "We ve worked with Nacho (Fer-
nandez) at the position in case Carvajal gets
injured. Nacho is a quality player who can play
that role, as can Sergio Ramos as a last option."
Madrid leads Atletico Madrid by three points,
and is four points ahead of Barcelona.
Unlike former coach Jose Mourinho, Ancelotti
is showing an ability to keep Madrid s array of
talented players and egos content despite having
to relegate many to the bench.
Spain midfielder Francisco "Isco" Alarcon
and Spain Under-21 talents Jese Rodriguez and
Asier Illarramendi have been reduced to sub-
stitute minutes with Madrid s attack of Cristiano
Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale in
"All of the players are ready to play," said
Ancelotti, who even compared Isco to former
AC Milan player Clarence Seedorf. "I talk to
them all and tell them they might just play one
minute but it could be the most important
minute of the season."
The Italian coach also dismissed reports that
forward Angel Di Maria preferred to sit out
against Malaga rather than risk a booking and
subsequent ban that would see the Argentine
miss next week s showdown with Barcelona.
"I d be surprised if Di Maria didn t want to
play against Malaga.
"I m not going to choose my teams worrying
about bookings or things like that," Ancelotti
said. "If Di Maria is shown a card then someone
else will fill in for him against Barca, it s not a
Knee injury sidelines Arbeloa for 6-8 weeks
Links Archive March 14th 2014 March 16th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page