Nicolas Anelka was banned by the English FA for five matches after he made controversial gestures while playing for West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League, but it now appears that the ban has been reduced to three games.

“We have received the ITC for the three-match ban. This is probably because he is now playing outside England,” an official of the AIFF stated.

To this effect, the FIFA enacted Status and Transfer of Players states, “Any disciplinary suspension imposed on a player prior to a transfer must be enforced or applied by the new association at which the player is registered. The former association is obliged to notify the new association of any sanction in writing and upon issuing the international transfer clearance (ITC).”

Anelka will now make his debut for Mumbai City FC in the match against Chennaiyins FC on October 29, 2014. The former Madrid, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, West Brom etc. forward was earlier confirmed as the marquee player for Mumbai City FC in this inaugural edition of the Indian Super League 2014. He began his footballing journey with Paris Saint-Germain in 1996 and moved on to Arsenal a year later scoring 23 goals in 65 appearances for the Gunners. He won the PFA Young Player of the Year award that very season.

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