UEFA to investigate Bellingham gesture against Slovakia

UEFA will open an investigation into Jude Bellingham following England’s Euro 2024 victory over Slovakia on Sunday.

The governing body is understood to be looking into an alleged gesture made by Bellingham following his dramatic equaliser in the 95th minute in Gelsenkirchen.

A statement from UEFA read: “A UEFA ethics and disciplinary inspector will conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding a potential violation of the basic rules of decent conduct by the English Football Association player, Jude Bellingham, having allegedly occurred in the scope of this match.”

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Gary Neville admits Jude Bellingham’s spectacular overhead kick against Slovakia saved England

Bellingham responded to suggestions the gesture was made towards the Slovakia bench, writing on X: “An inside joke gesture towards some close friends who were at the game.

“Nothing but respect for how that Slovakia team played tonight.”

Bellingham’s bicycle kick occurred with just seconds remaining in the game and took the match into extra-time. Harry Kane added a second goal to set up a quarter-final meeting with Switzerland on Saturday.

What punishment could Bellingham potentially face?

Sky Sports News’ chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

“Jude Bellingham potentially is in hot water and he may have some explaining to do. UEFA have announced they are investigating allegations he made an offensive gesture after he scored.

“Straight after the game, Bellingham posted on X it was what he called ‘an inside joke’ towards friends and that he had nothing but respect for how that Slovakia side played.

“He seemed to look to his side, touch his face and make this gesture.

“If he’s found guilty by UEFA he could be facing a suspension or a fine or both. But I think it’s very unlikely he will be suspended for any games in this tournament. My understanding is in these cases a fine is more likely. And there’s no guarantee the investigation would be completed before the end of this tournament in two weeks’ time.

“Five years ago, in a Champions League game, Cristiano Ronaldo was playing for Juventus and a UEFA disciplinary body decided he had made an offensive gesture as well, which is similar to the gesture Bellingham is alleged to have made. Ronaldo wasn’t banned, he received a fine – 20,000 Euros. So there is a precedent for this kind of thing.”

Kane: Bellingham saved England’s tournament

England captain Harry Kane on ITV Sport:

“That’s the desire and attitude of the boys and everyone involved.

“It looked tough for a second there but you keep going. We work on so many details throughout the week, we put in a long throw a couple of days ago.

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Jude Bellingham responds to his and England’s critics after his goal against Slovakia helped secure a place in the Euro 2024 quarter-finals

“We said ‘we might need it, be prepared for anything’, and Jude does what Jude does. What an unbelievable goal. It’s kept our tournament alive.

“All I can say is incredible support. I know the fans back home would’ve enjoyed that. What a win.

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Jude Bellingham scored a glorious overhead kick in the 95th minute to take England’s game against Slovakia into extra-time and spark scenes of celebration across the country

On Bellingham’s goal: “One of the best in our country’s history, I reckon.

“What a player he is. He works so hard for the team, there’s been a lot of talk about him over the last couple of days, but he’s showed what he can do.

“In the big moments, he’s stepped up and that’s what we need.”

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