West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka has lost the support of the French Jewish community leader he was citing to defend his use of a gesture deemed anti-Semitic.
The player responded to this week's FA charge by highlighting through his Facebook and Twitter accounts how the president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions said the gesture was not offensive because it was performed on a football field rather than in front of a Jewish site or Holocaust memorial.
But Roger Cukierman has backpedalled on his earlier comments, now stressing that the gesture is "an inversed Hitler salute" and saying he is "troubled" Anelka dedicated his quenelle to French performer Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, "whose own motives are incontestably anti-Semitic."
"It must be noted that the quenelle gesture has spread dangerously among our fellow citizens and especially among young people," Cukierman said on his organization's website. "I was disappointed by Anelka's attitude, whose behavior is the opposite of that which should be shown by a top-class athlete to the youths of our country."