Tottenham defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto has been handed a three-match suspension by the Football Association, after being found guilty of improper conduct in relation to the Nicolas Anelkak ‘quenelle’ incident.
The Cameroon full-back has also been fined £50,000 and has from now until Friday, September 26 to appeal.
After an hearing by the Independent Regulatory Commission of the English FA, Assou-Ekotto is said to have breached FA’s Rule E3(1) following his social media postings relating to the quenelle gesture performed by Nicolas Anelka in December 2013.
Chairman of the FA body, Mr Peter Griffiths QC, in delivering the decision said: “Even though we have found that there was an aggravated breach of FA Rule E3 we are satisfied that when the Player sent the tweet on the 28th December 2013 congratulating Anelka, in his mind he believed he was congratulating Anelka on what he perceived to be an anti-establishment gesture as opposed to one associated with anti-Semitism.
“But we are also satisfied of two further factors relevant to his culpability:
1) That he was certainly aware before he sent the tweet that the quenelle gesture was very much associated with Dieudonne; and
2) That he had, by then, acquired at least some knowledge of the controversies surrounding Dieudonne in the Autumn of 2013 and that these had included, rightly or wrongly, allegations concerning anti-Semitism.”
Should his appeal fail, the 30-year-old could miss Spurs trip to Arsenal and Manchester City on September 27 and October 18 respectively, and Southampton’s visit to White Hart Lane in between both fixtures.
Assou-Ekotto was also warned as regard his future conduct and ordered to complete a compulsory education course. He was also ordered to take care of the cost accrued during the hearing.