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Byline: EXCLUSIVE by Dean Jones

WEST BROM'S Diego Lugano has laid into English football - by claiming that Nicolas Anelka is being punished just to make an example of him.

Anelka is in the dock for his 'quenelle' gesture, but Baggies team-mate Lugano cannot get his head around the issue.

The Uruguayan also reckons his pal Luis Suarez, who served bans for racially abusing Patrice Evra and biting Branislav Ivanovic, was dealt with too harshly.

Anelka remains at the centre of a race storm for a gesture claimed to be anti-semitic, but Lugano said: "I'm surprised that Nicolas has been punished for a gesture.

"I must confess I didn't know what that gesture meant. So I asked him and he told me it was a gesture for a friend of his, a French comedian.

"But you know English people, they are really strict. Just look at the case of Luis Suarez. I think they punish people like Anelka or Suarez to make them an example."

Lugano also believes roughtackles that should warrant lengthy bans are being ignored.

He said: "An opponent put a tackle on Gaston Ramirez that should have been punished with a 15-game ban.

"Luis gets hard tackles all the time and nobody says anything. But if you insult an opponent inside the pitch, as happened with Luis, then you are punished.

"That's part of the culture and as a player you have to adapt to it."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jan 26, 2014
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