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UEFA to investigate Jude Bellingham over gesture as England fans fear quarter-final ban

UEFA to investigate Jude Bellingham over gesture as England fans fear quarter-final ban

The striker celebrated his equaliser worldie with an X-rated gesture

UEFA are going to investigate Jude Bellingham over his celebratory X-rated gesture as England fans fear there will be a quarter-final ban.

This comes after the striker claimed the gesture was an 'inside joke' for to some mates who were in the crowd. However, despite the union's previous response, the fear for fans is back.

Following Bellingham's worldie equaliser in the 95th minute of the match against Slovakia yesterday (30 June) he seemed to wipe his mouth and gesture at his crotch, towards the bench.

He'd already celebrated with his teammates as fans spotted the incredible thing he said. But fans were worried this extra addition could see him banned from playing when England face Switzerland in the Euro 2024 quarterfinals on Saturday.

It came after his equaliser goal. (Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images )
It came after his equaliser goal. (Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images )

And now that fear could, sadly, be justified.

UEFA have now said in a new statement this afternoon: "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.

"Information on this matter will be made available in due course."

Facing backlash on X last night for the gesture, Bellingham offered up an explanation.

"An inside joke gesture towards some close friends who were at the game," he wrote, with a yawning and a red cross emoji. "Nothing but respect for how that Slovakia team played tonight."

He scored an absolute worldie to take us into extra time (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
He scored an absolute worldie to take us into extra time (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The laws of the game indicate any ‘obscene gesture’ or ‘offensive or insulting action’ made on the pitch should be punishable by a dreaded red card.

And let's not deny it, that really would be an absolute nightmare for Gareth Southgate and his England side right now.

This isn't the first time that Bellingham has faced punishment for his behaviour during a football game this year either.

While playing for his club, Real Madrid, back in March, the 21-year-old was sent off for arguing back at referee Jesus Gil Manzano after his would be game-winning header was ruled out.

Bellingham's X-rated gesture isn't exactly unseen on the pitch either as Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone made similar gesture in a 2019 Champion's League match against Juventus.

The gesture was mimicked by Cristiano Ronaldo, landing him a €20,000 (£16,962) fine for 'improper conduct' by the UEFA.

Some fans defended the England star's behaviour as a showing of ‘passion’.

But others told him to do his ‘talking with the ball’. “Maybe it was addressed to Southgate,” one joked.

Featured Image Credit: Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images / Ian MacNicol/Getty Images