WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND – Striker Nicolas Anelka announced Friday he was leaving West Bromwich Albion and terminating his contract with immediate effect after being suspended for five matches by the Football Association for a racially aggravated goal celebration.
The Premier League club responded by saying the player’s statement was invalid but that it is firing him for “gross misconduct” over the announcement.
The former France forward was suspended last month for performing a gesture which is known in France as a “quenelle” and regarded as anti-Semitic.
“Proposals have been made for me to rejoin the group under certain conditions that I can’t accept,” Anelka tweeted in French.
“Wishing to keep my integrity, I took the decision to free myself and end the contract linking me with West Bromwich Albion until 2014, with immediate effect.”
West Brom said Anelka had not informed the club and that his “purported termination of his Premier League contract this evening via social media was invalid. . .”