web statistics

Outcry over Uefa probe into Jude Bellingham’s ‘crotch-grab’ goal celebration as fans plead ‘don’t ban him’

ENGLAND hero Jude Bellingham has been threatened with a Euros ban for his groin-grab goal celebration against Slovakia.

Petty Uefa officials launched a “decent conduct” probe — but Jude, 21, denied the gesture was aimed at the opposition following his bicycle-kick equaliser.

Getty

Jude Bellingham has defended his groin-grab goal celebration as ‘an inside joke’ and denied making fun of plucky Slovakia[/caption]

Reuters

Bellingham scores England’s first goal in spectacular fashion[/caption]

Alamy

Gareth Southgate’s team were assured no disciplinary measures were being considered over the gesture[/caption]

Superstar Bellingham has defended his groin-grab goal celebration as “an inside joke”.

The Three Lions’ saviour could be ruled out of Saturday’s quarter-final against Switzerland if Uefa decide he breached “basic rules of decent conduct”.

But Bellingham explained on social media: “An inside joke towards some close friends who were at the game.

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

Moments after his astonishing 95th-minute bicycle kick strike spared England’s blushes, the Real Madrid ace was seen on TV making a hand gesture next to his crotch.

It was believed that Jude was signalling he has what it takes to overcome a crisis — though some believed it was an insult aimed at the opposition bench.

Harry Kane’s extra-time header sealed England’s 2-1 win on Sunday evening.

Early yesterday, Gareth Southgate’s team were assured no disciplinary measures were being considered over the gesture.

But Uefa then did a U-turn — despite the gesture not being mentioned in any match reports made by the officials.

Fans reacted in fury with Max Veltman, 43, of Birmingham, saying: “It’s nonsense. It wasn’t offensive and Jude said so himself. Have Uefa got nothing better to do?


“We’ve got no chance without Jude so we need to pray Uefa don’t ban him.”

Sam Eversden, 45, from Uxbridge, West London, added: “Are Uefa policing goal celebrations now?

“If they want to crack down on conduct and integrity, they should crack down on diving instead. Jude’s our main man.

“He’s kept us in the Euros but without him we’ll be knocked out. He certainly shouldn’t get a ban. Save our Jude!”

Fan Elaine Flower, 70, from Southampton, who has been to every England game at the Euros, said: “It’s daft to investigate something like this and clearly not worth a ban.

“Common sense must prevail. He’s our best player and we need him to progress.

“We’d have lost without his goal and we’ll need him more than ever in the next game.”

Match of the Day host Gary Lineker said on Twitter/X: “For crying out loud, the Euro 2024 celebration police are looking into Jude Bellingham. Ridiculous!”

Aces rapped

OTHER stars have landed in trouble for similar gestures.

In 2019 Cristiano Ronaldo was fined £17,000 but avoided a ban for his Juventus goal celebration against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

Atletico boss Diego Simeone was also fined for his groin-grab gesture during the first leg.

In 2017, England midfielder Dele Alli was banned for a match and fined £3,500 for raising his middle finger in a World Cup qualifier against Slovakia. He said it was a joke aimed at Kyle Walker.

The suggestion is Bellingham could have breached rule 11 2b into player conduct.

A Uefa spokesman said: “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.”

Bellingham has previously made a similar gesture when playing for Real Madrid, and after scoring a late equaliser for England in a friendly against Belgium in March.

Instagram

Bellingham explained on social media: ‘An inside joke towards some close friends who were at the game’[/caption]

Paul Edwards

Bellingham playing cricket yesterday[/caption]

Rex

Bellingham could be ruled out of Saturday’s quarter-final against Switzerland if Uefa decide he breached ‘basic rules of decent conduct’[/caption]

After Sunday’s dramatic win, he hit back at England’s critics saying: “You hear people talk a lot of rubbish. It’s nice when you can deliver and you can give them a little bit back.

“For me, being on the pitch scoring goals and celebrating is my release.

“And you know, maybe it was a message to a few people . . . but a very happy moment.”

Yesterday Bellingham relaxed with a game of cricket, and was seen cupping his hands to catch a ball. He also shared a beaming selfie on his Instagram.

Team-mates raved about his goal on the England Lions’ Den channel posted online yesterday.

BBC

Gary Lineker said: ‘For crying out loud, the Euro 2024 celebration police are looking into Jude Bellingham. Ridiculous!’[/caption]

Writing off Swiss as no-hopers is cuckoo

SWITZERLAND is famed for cuckoo clocks and chocolate — but is also enjoying a golden era of football.

The minnows have a team featuring world-class stars.

Players such as ex-Arsenal star Granit Xhaka, 31, former Liverpool wizard Xherdan Shaqiri, 32, and Man City’s Manuel Akanji, 28, make them a force to be reckoned with.

Midfield star Xhaka, their most capped player with 129, is the beating heart of the team and has just helped Bayer ­Leverkusen land the Bundesliga title in Germany.

Historically, their best major tournament performance was 100 years ago — when they won silver at the 1924 Olympics.

And the last time they reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup was 70 years ago.

But they have risen steadily in the rankings over the past eight years.

The Swiss made it to the last 16 during Euro 2016 and then achieved their best finish at Euro 2020, reaching the quarter-finals, having eliminated world champions France.

The team has also reached the knockout rounds at the past three World Cups and is 19th in Fifa’s world rankings.

They beat Italy 2-0 in this year’s Euros’ knockouts to clinch their clash with England.

Roger Federer remains Switzerland’s most famous sporting hero.

But this Swiss team remain determined to write its own page in history.

About admin