Bellingham avoids Euros ban for obscene gesture



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England midfielder Jude Bellingham is available to face Switzerland in Saturday’s UEFA European Championship quarterfinal after being given a suspended one-match ban and a €30,000 fine by UEFA for a lewd gesture made in their dramatic round-of-16 win over Slovakia.

Bellingham, 21, celebrated his stunning 95th-minute overhead kick, which forced extra time in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday, by kissing his hand and appearing to grab his crotch.

Bellingham subsequently described the incident as “an inside-joke gesture towards some close friends who were at the game” but UEFA’s control, ethics and disciplinary body (CEDB) concluded an investigation on Friday by declaring the Real Madrid star had “violated the basic rules of decent conduct.”

The CEDB said in a statement that they had decided “to fine the English Football Association (FA) player Jude Bellingham €30,000 and to suspend him for a total of one UEFA competition match for which he would be otherwise eligible for violating the basic rules of decent conduct.

“Said suspension is not immediately enforced and is subject to a probationary period of one year, starting from the date of the present decision.”

Sources told ESPN that the FA does not plan to appeal the decision.

The verdict also included separate fines for the Football Association totalling €11,000 for what the CEDB described as “crowd disturbances” and the “lighting of fireworks.”

Bellingham will now walk something of a disciplinary tightrope with UEFA on alert for any similar gestures over the next 12 months.

Anything deemed a repeat in Dusseldorf would see him banned for a potential semifinal against either Turkey or the Netherlands.

All 26 players trained in Blankenhain on Friday as Gareth Southgate’s side continued its preparations to face Switzerland.

ESPN reported on Wednesday that England have been training with a back three this week as they consider a change of system after a series of disjointed displays despite reaching the last eight.



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