West Bromwich Albion have attempted to draw a line under the Nicolas Anelka row by issuing all players and staff with a list of hand movements deemed offensive and unacceptable.
From now on, any player found to be performing one of the banned gesticulations, motions or thrusts will be subject to a fine and an internal suspension, as the club seek to counter perceptions that their response to Anelka’s controversial ‘quenelle’ was inadequate.
“We have asked all our players not to perform the quenelle salute in the future,” West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace told a press conference, while sporting director Richard Garlick performed the gesture for clarity. “As well as the Roman salute, the one-fingered salute, the two-fingered salute, the five-fingered salute, and the flying V.
“We will also look very severely on the forearm tug, the shoe slap, the chin flick, the finger bite, the corna, the moutza, the double moutza and the carpal shimmy,” Peace continued, as Garlick struggled to keep up with the various unsavoury motions.
“The donkey ride, the pine cone, the Clinton thumb, the pepper mill, the eyebrow lick, the Bullard reproof, and the hysterical fig are right out.”
Peace also confirmed that the club would also not accept players using sock puppets to make mid-game quips at opposing fans’ expense, lifting their legs theatrically while pretending to pass wind or pugnaciously finger-framing their crotches regardless of whether they were also swinging their hips to an imaginary disco beat.
It was at this point that a panting, sweat-drenched Garlick had to beg him to bring the session to a close.
In response to questions from journalists, Peace confirmed that the fourteen-finger ‘thunder moth’ gesture would remain permitted until it could be proved beyond doubt that it was offensive and physically possible.
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