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Jude Bellingham UNDER INVESTIGATION – and could face a ban – for his X-rated gesture in England’s win over Slovakia, UEFA confirm, for ‘violation of decent conduct’ rules



Jude Bellingham UNDER INVESTIGATION - and could face a ban - for his X-rated gesture in England's win over Slovakia, UEFA confirm, for 'violation of decent conduct' rules


Jude Bellingham is to be investigated for a ‘potential violation of the basic rules of decent conduct’ and faces a possible ban after he made a seemingly-crude gesture following his dramatic equaliser against Slovakia on Sunday night.


Jude Bellingham UNDER INVESTIGATION - and could face a ban - for his X-rated gesture in England's win over Slovakia, UEFA confirm, for 'violation of decent conduct' rules

UEFA have launched a disciplinary probe amid claims the England star directed his gesture towards the Slovakia bench in Gelsenkirchen.

The player himself was quick to take to social media to point out that the act was an in joke aimed towards close friends who were in the stands. ‘Nothing but respect for how that Slovakia team played tonight,’ he added, on X.

However, UEFA have announced that an inspector ‘will conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding a potential violation of the basic rules of decent conduct’ by Bellingham ‘having allegedly occurred in the scope of this match’.

It remains to be seen if the investigation will conclude while the tournament is ongoing. UEFA opened a disciplinary probe into Serbia amid allegations monkey noises were made during their opening game against England on June 16. Despite more than two weeks passing, a conclusion remains outstanding.

The inspector will carry out his probe, no doubt taking in video evidence of the matter, before reporting back with their findings to UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body.

They will then decide whether to punish the player, with a suspension among the sanctions available to them. The fact that an inspector has been appointed, rather than the player hit with an instant charge, suggests the matter is not clear cut.

Bellingham is on a yellow card and would miss the semi-final if he is booked in the quarter-final against Switzerland, should England prevail in Dusseldorf.

A ban is considered highly unlikely, based on recent cases. Should the inspector decide to charge Bellingham, he will then have the opportunity to put forward his case. Attempting to then disprove the defence the player has presented on social media could well prove very difficult.

They have also charged the FA with lack of order or discipline by supporters and the lighting of fireworks.

Later, after Harry Kane had scored a winner in extra-time, Declan Rice was involved in a heated exchange with opposition manager Francesco Calzona, which led to him being held back by Aaron Ramsdale. Rice appeared to call the Italian, who had tried to approach the officials, a ‘bald ****’.

Expert lipreader Jeremy Freeman told Mail Sport that during the altercation, a furious Rice said: ‘Shut up, p***y, oi, shut up, you bald ****.’

Mail Sport understands that UEFA have no plans to charge Rice.

Any form of suspension for Bellingham would be a big blow to Gareth Southgate and his England side, who have only scored four goals in four games at this summer’s Euros – with Bellingham netting two of those.

On Monday morning, pundits in Germany criticised Bellingham for his actions and warned that he could go down ‘a really stupid direction’.

Christoph Kramer, who plays for Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga and faced Bellingham on the pitch several times, told ZDF: ‘He is an outstanding player. He just has to be careful that he doesn’t start to get cocky at such a young age.

‘What I always find really bad is when you wave your hands off your own players. He made a few gestures today, but he has done so in recent games as well.’

‘These theatrical fouls, yellow cards. He stays down, that’s part of football, but…’

Per Mertesacker, formerly of Arsenal, then interrupted, saying: ‘He doesn’t stay lying down, he rolls around. You don’t have to roll around again to provoke something.’

In response, Kramer added: ‘The season he played, I give him credit for that. But he still has to be careful that things don’t go in a really stupid direction. I hope that he reflects on that a bit during the summer break.’

Bellingham joined his current club Real Madrid from German side Borussia Dortmund last summer to the apparent relief of his old team-mates.

According to multiple reports shortly after the eye-watering move that could cost as much as £113million, Dortmund players believed Bellingham wanted to be the centre of attention and felt he was too harsh toward them during training and matches.

Despite him becoming a supporters’ favourite during his three-year stay, Bellingham is also said to have felt overshadowed by Erling Haaland during the 2021-22 season and responded by waiting behind after games to applaud the crowd on his own.

He quickly became a senior figure in the dressing room and was handed the captain’s armband on multiple occasions during his final campaign at Dortmund. His team-mates, however, accused him of lacking leadership and being moody.

Bellingham, however, is not the first person in football to make such a gesture during a match. Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone made an apology after a similar gesture in the Champions League in 2019, when his side beat Juventus.

His ‘cojones’ gesture was then mimicked by Cristiano Ronaldo in the return leg, as the Italian club produced an incredible comeback to win 3-2 on aggregate.

However, the Portuguese star escaped a ban, and was instead fined €20,000 for ‘improper conduct’ by UEFA.

Meanwhile, Slovakia boss Calzona later revealed what sparked his confrontation with England midfielder Rice and explained that he wanted to complain about their failure to punish time-wasting tactics during extra time.

‘Rice was supposed to go to the referees and leave,’ Calzona said. ‘I had to speak to the refs and he wasn’t leaving.’

England already have one suspension concern, with Marc Guehi unavailable for their clash in the next round after picking up a booking early on in Gelsenkirchen.

It was the Crystal Palace defender’s second of the tournament – after being booked in the 0-0 draw with Slovenia – meaning he will miss the clash on July 6.

With or without Bellingham, England will start Saturday’s quarter-final against Switzerland as favourites, at least among the bookmakers.

However, the Three Lions will likely need to produce their best performance of the tournament so far to overcome an impressive outfit that knocked out Italy in the round of 16.

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