“There should be no room for such intolerance and racism in sports and we expect that the English Premier League officials as well as the police will give Anelka the appropriate punishment. “We know that English football officials have a very low tolerance for racism at football matches and we hope that all concerned will abhor and show zero-tolerance for this hateful Nazi salute.” Kantor, describing the ‘quenelle’ as “merely a lesser known Nazi salute”, added: “Furthermore, we hope that this gesture is banned in all places of Europe where Nazi salutes are banned. “Merely inverting the traditional Nazi salute should not allow anti-Semites to spread and display their hate with impunity.” West Brom caretaker manager Keith Downing played down the prospect of disciplinary measures immediately after the match. Downing said of Anelka: “He is totally unaware of what the problems were or the speculation that has been thrown around, he is totally surprised by it.” Press Association Sport understands the Football Association will be looking into the matter, while anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out has offered its assistance to the national governing body. Earlier this month FIFA handed Croatia international Josip Simunic a 10-match international ban for leading fascist chanting following his team’s World Cup play-off victory over Iceland. The defender was captured leading songs with associations to Croatia’s former pro-fascist regime. West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka has denied his goal celebration at West Ham on Saturday had any racial or anti-Semitic connotations and asked people not to be “duped by the media”. The former Arsenal and Real Madrid striker caused a storm in his native France by performing the ‘quenelle’ salute made famous in his homeland by comedian Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala after scoring the first of his two goals at Upton Park in the 3-3 draw. The gesture has been linked to anti-Semitism in France and The European Jewish Congress has demanded action, claiming Anelka should be subjected to the same punishment handed out to those who perform a Nazi salute. Press Association French minister for sport Valerie Fourneyron also condemned the gesture as “shocking” and “disgusting”. But Anelka is adamant it was nothing more than a “special dedication to his friend Dieudonne”. He expanded on Twitter: “I do not know what religion has to do with this story. “This gesture is a dedication to Dieudonne. With regard to the ministers who give their own interpretations of my quenelle, they are the ones that create confusion and controversy without knowing what the gesture really means. “I ask people not to be duped by the media. “And of course I am neither racist nor anti-Semitic.” Dr Moshe Kantor, president of The European Jewish Congress, believes Anelka should be punished, however. “It is sickening that such a well-known footballer would make such an abusive and hateful gesture in front of tens of thousands of spectators,” Kantor said.
Tears mixed with smiles, sadness blended in with gladness – those were the mixed emotions everyone associated with the Fayetteville-Manlius girls soccer program felt on Sunday afternoon at the end of an historic season.True, the Hornets had lost, 1-0, to Monroe-Woodbury in the state Class AA championship game at SUNY-Cortland, and there was plenty of disappointment in not capturing the last and most important prize.But there was also plenty of good feelings, too. Never before had an F-M girls soccer team made it this far, and the mere fact that it did was something to celebrate, now and in the future. Once in Cortland, F-M’s character revealed itself again in a tense, competitive state semifinal Saturday against Long Island powerhouse Massapequa, where it took the best shot of the Chiefs and answered well, claiming a 2-1 victory.Having won six previous state championships, Massapequa had far more good history at this level, but F-M didn’t blink, getting on the board less than six minutes into the game thanks to an impressive goal by eighth-grader Morgan Goodman, who took a pass from Lauren Clark and drilled a left-footed shot into the net.The Chiefs tied it 1-1 in the 16th minute on Gianna Savella’s goal, and would possess the ball for long stretches, testing F-M’s defense. Laura Bonomo, Haley Ingram, Alora MIller, Ryann Dauksza and the rest of the back line held up well, and Ingram even made a save in goal early in the second half when Sydney Mahr briefly let the game.With the issue still in doubt in the 59th minute, F-M pulled off a decisive play with some great footwork from Hannah Knych, who took the ball off the end line and crossed to the middle, where Clark, whose four goals had carried the Hornets past Bethlehem, put home the go-ahead goal.To hang on from there, F-M needed a big save from Mahr with 10:20 left and more strong defense, and now found itself in new territory for the championship game, a place that Monroe-Woodbury knew well, having won it all in 2018.The Crusaders, off its own 2-1 state semifinal win over Clarence, were technically sound and, throughout the first half of the state final, had the majority of the possession. M-W nearly scored late in the first half, but had a chance off a corner kick careen off the crossbar.Despite a counterattacking approach, F-M still earned a fair share of corner kicks and free kicks, yet could not do much with them against the Crusaders, Anna Hartzheim having a free kick in the waning seconds of the first half go right to goalie Angela Fini.Ultimately, the game turned on a sequence of events that began in the 51st minute when Goodman found herself wide-open with a point-blank chance to put F-M in front, only to have Fini save it.Seconds later, Goodman left the game with an injury on a play F-M thought was a foul that merited a penalty kick. Nothing was called, and on the other end a turnover gave M-W the ball, Katherine Mullins passing it to the middle, where Josephine Sorce pushed a shot past Mahr.In the remaining 25-plus minutes, F-M had plenty of runs, yet kept getting turned back, and as time wound down it played the same possession game it had earlier, locking up back-to-back state titles.Having finished its best season in program history 19-2, F-M will perhaps rue the missed chances in the final game, but not forget just how much was accomplished.“Looking at the whole picture, it was a phenomenal season,” said Ostrander. “These girls made history.”Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story “I couldn’t ask for a better group of young women,” said head coach Brent Ostrander. “They’re so competitive and so dedicated to this program, and right to the end we gave it our all.”Indeed, without that heart and spirit, there was no way the Hornets could have made it anywhere near this point. It had shown itself through a tough regular-season slate where F-M went 15-1, and continued to grow through a run to a second consecutive Section III title.And that resolve had allowed the Hornets to rally from an overtime deficit to edge Bethlehem in the AA regional final, avenging a 2018 defeat to the Eagles in this same round and bringing F-M to the state final four. Tags: F-Mgirls soccer