LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (DECEMBER 29, 2013) (REUTERS) - Property website Zoopla is ending its sponsorship of English Premier League soccer club West Bromwich Albion following a row over an alleged anti-Semitic gesture made by striker Nicolas Anelka, the company said on Monday (January 20).
The quenelle, invented by French comedian Dieudonne, has drawn widespread condemnation in Anelka's homeland and from anti-racist and Jewish groups in England who have demanded the player be banned.
"Zoopla has been reviewing its position over the past few weeks in light of the actions of striker, Nicolas Anelka, during the match against West Ham over the Christmas period and has decided to focus its attention on other marketing activities after this season," the company said in a statement.
The Football Association is yet to report back on its investigation into the matter and the club said in a statement on December 30 that Anelka remained eligible for selection.
French Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron has been critical of Anelka, and said on Twitter just before the New Year: "Anelka's gesture is a shocking provocation, disgusting. There's no place for anti-Semitism on the football field."
Anelka, who has played in both West Brom's league matches since, promised not to repeat it but did not apologise for his actions.
The furore has overshadowed the match for which Spaniard Pepe Mel will be in charge of West Brom for the first time since being named as Steve Clarke's replacement.