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UEFA investigating Bellingham over possible indecent gesture


FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — England star Jude Bellingham is being investigated by UEFA over a potentially offensive gesture made during the European Championship win against Slovakia.

UEFA said Monday it appointed a disciplinary inspector to look at “a potential violation of the basic rules of decent conduct.”

Bellingham seemed to make a gesture with his hand toward his crotch after scoring an acrobatic stoppage-time equalizer on Sunday as England went on to win 2-1 in extra time.

Bellingham's overhead kick with about 80 seconds left in the game saved England from a humiliating exit in the first knockout round.

If UEFA charges Bellingham, he risks being suspended for the quarterfinal against Switzerland on Saturday. However, judging by similar cases in the past, the midfielder is likely to escape with a fine if he is disciplined.

“Information on this matter will be made available in due course,” the UEFA said in a statement.

Bellingham took to social media late Sunday to deny suggestions he gestured toward the Slovakia bench.

“An inside joke gesture towards some close friends who were at the game. Nothing but respect for how that Slovakia team played tonight,” Bellingham wrote on X.

Five years ago, Cristiano Ronaldo — while playing for Juventus — and Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone were each fined 20,000 euros ($22,700) by UEFA for making obscene gestures during their Champions League matchup.

Disgraced former Spanish soccer chief Luis Rubiales was also involved in a similar incident at the end of the Women’s World Cup final last August. He grabbed his crotch as a victory gesture while Queen Letizia of Spain and 16-year-old Princess Sofía were standing nearby.

That offense was overshadowed soon after when Rubiales kissed Spain forward Jenni Hermoso on the lips without her consent. Rubiales was barred by FIFA from working in soccer until after the men’s 2026 World Cup.


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