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Jude Bellingham at risk of UEFA punishment which would be a disaster for England

Jude Bellingham at risk of UEFA punishment which would be a disaster for England

The England midfielder said the gesture was an “inside joke" to friends in the crowd.

England midfielder Jude Bellingham is at risk of punishment from UEFA over a gesture he made during Sunday's Euro 2024 game against Slovakia.

The 21-year-old midfielder, who produced so many match-winning moments for Real Madrid last season, delivered the goods when his country needed it most.

After a far-from-inspiring team performance from the Three Lions, who went 1-0 down early on, Bellingham rescued their campaign by netting a 95th-minute bicycle kick to equalise.

He then proceeded to celebrate by raising his arms and shouting “Who else?” before gesturing a talking expression with his hand.

Bellingham also appeared to make a lewd gesture in the direction of Slovakia's bench, although he later claimed that it was an "inside joke" aimed at some "close friends who were at the game" in Gelsenkirchen.

"Nothing but respect for how that Slovakia team played tonight," he added in a social media post on X, formerly Twitter.

Image credit: X/@343_digital
Image credit: X/@343_digital

That being said, Bellingham could still be subject to disciplinary action from European football’s governing body.

The laws of the game indicate that any “obscene gesture” or “offensive or insulting action” should be punishable by a red card.

UEFA will review reports from the match referee and other officials before deciding on any possible action.

Dele Alli was hit with a one-match ban in 2017 after the midfielder put his middle finger up during England’s World Cup qualifying win over Slovakia – a gesture that was deemed to be "offensive" and "unsporting".

A FIFA spokesperson said: “Following the incident that occurred during the match between England and Slovakia on 4 September 2017, Dele Alli has been sanctioned with a suspension for one official match and a fine of 5,000 Swiss francs for making an offensive and unsporting gesture.

“Although the disciplinary committee was not convinced that the player directed the gesture at the referee, and regardless of whether it was allegedly directed at a team-mate, it did consider such gesture to be offensive and unsporting and therefore it amounted to a violation of article 57 of the Fifa disciplinary code.”

Earlier this year, Bellingham was punished for his behaviour while playing for Real Madrid. He was sent off for arguing back at referee Jesus Gil Manzano after his late goal was ruled out.

Back in 2019, Cristiano Ronaldo was fined €20,000 by UEFA when he mimicked Diego Simeone's 'crotch-grabbing' celebration during Juventus' last-16 Champions League victory over Atletico Madrid, although he did escape a ban.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was, however, banned for one game by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation in February for a similar gesture while playing for Al Nassr.

Ronaldo was judged to have violated Article 57-1 of the Disciplinary and Ethics Regulations, which reads: "Any person who causes public excitement by action, word, or gesture during any match shall be suspended for one match, and shall be punished with a fine of 10,000 riyals."

Ronaldo later explained his actions and claimed he did not mean to cause offence.

"I will always respect the cultures of all countries, as I have respected to this day, but not always what people see is reality," he said. "As I said and I will say again, it is obvious that I will not do it again in this country, but in Europe, it is very normal."

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

Topics: Jude Bellingham, England, Euro 2024