England star Jude Bellingham cleared to play in Euro 2024 quarter-final against Switzerland

News Desk
England star Jude Bellingham and his balls
England star Jude Bellingham and his balls

England midfielder Jude Bellingham has been cleared to play in the Euro 2024 quarter-final against Switzerland after being given a suspended one-match ban for a gesture he made in the last-16 match against Slovakia.

The Real Madrid and England star gestured towards the Slovakia bench after scoring an overhead kick to force extra time.

Bellingham insisted in a social media post that the gesture was “an inside joke towards some close friends”, but UEFA opened an investigation on Monday to determine whether the gesture “violated the basic rules of decent conduct”.

UEFA announced on Friday that Bellingham had been fined 30,000 euros (£25,400) and issued with a suspended one-match ban. The ban will be triggered by a further offence within one year, UEFA said.

The Football Association was also fined a total of 11,000 euros (£9,000) for crowd disturbances and the lighting of fireworks by supporters during the Slovakia match.

Merih Demiral, whose brace helped Turkey overcome Austria and book their place in the quarter-finals, has been suspended for two matches over a wolf salute he made towards the crowd at the match in Leipzig on Tuesday.

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The salute is recognised as being linked to the far-right movement in Turkey.

UEFA said Demiral had been suspended for “failing to comply with the general principles of conduct, for violating the basic rules of decent conduct, for using sports events for manifestations of a non-sporting nature and for bringing the sport of football into disrepute”.

The news comes after former Germany international Didi Hamann suggested that Bellingham being banned for his lewd gesture during England’s win over Slovakia could “be a blessing” for Southgate.

“Gareth Southgate should have made the decision earlier to take out Bellingham or Phil Foden,” Hamann told BILD.

“Now he may be forced to be lucky if Bellingham is suspended. If he has to sit out, that might even be a blessing. That might even help the team. Something has to happen.”

The former Liverpool defensive midfielder also took aim at Bellingham’s behaviour, making reference to him shouting ‘who else?’ to England fans in the stadium after his wonderful goal and digging up his criticism of a referee in his time at Dortmund.

“I don’t like his behaviour,” Hamann said. “There was his statement two and a half years ago in Dortmund about referee Felix Zwayer, where he got away with a fine, but in my opinion, should have been banned.”