The former Chelsea star was banned for three games for his controversial “Quenelle” gesture after scoring for West Brom against West ham last season.
All India football federation cleared Nicolas Anelka to play against Atletico De Kolkata at Yuva Bharati Stadium on Sunday.
“Yes, Anelka can play tomorrow’s match”, AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das told Goal.com on Saturday evening.
Mumbai FC’s plea to Federation regarding the french striker’s ban got a stay order as FIFA has not replied yet.
“We had enquired FIFA about any directives that must be followed about his ban, after the franchise appealed to us against the ban. Since, we have not heard anything from FIFA yet on the matter, he can play tomorrow. We have talked to legal experts as well”, Das added while talking to Goal.
Clearly a weird decision from AIFF’s end may face disruption soon as it will be customary to impose the ban if FIFA started to get their hands in this matter. Keeping at par with FIFA’s regulations, avoiding the suspension would be illegal and an interference from world’s largest sports regulatory authority can result in a three match ban for the striker during tournament proceedings.
“Quenelle” gesture gets often associated with antisemitism. Anelka’s celebration in this manner caused a heavy fine and healthy five match ban for the him. Later, the ban got reduced to three games.
The former Real Madrid and Arsenal man is so far the youngest among the big International names in Indian Super League. He traveled to Kolkata with his team and is set to get a place in Peter Reid’s final XI.
While Anelka is getting ready to don Mumbai jersey, Kolkata’s marquee signing Luis Garcia may miss the tournament opener due to fitness concerns.