• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Euro 2024: UEFA clears Bellingham to play against Switzerland

Jude-bellingham-england (3)

European football’s governing body, UEFA, has cleared Jude Bellingham to play in England’s Euro 2024 quarter-final match against Switzerland on Saturday. This decision comes after the Real Madrid star received a suspended one-game ban for his controversial celebration following his goal against Slovakia in the previous round.

In a statement, UEFA announced that Bellingham would be fined €30,000 and suspended “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,” UEFA added.

Bellingham, 21, was filmed mimicking a crotch grab while apparently looking towards Slovakia’s bench after his spectacular stoppage-time equalizer, which kept England in the tournament.

However, the England international claimed it was “an inside joke” directed at some friends.

England boss Gareth Southgate praised UEFA’s decision, calling it a “common sense decision” given the emotions surrounding Bellingham’s stunning strike.

“Clearly, when you score a goal of the quality that he did, at the moment that he did, at the age that he is, you’re going to have an incredible rush of adrenaline,” Southgate said at his pre-match press conference.

“I think there was no intent in the gesture towards anybody other than the communication he has with his family, so from our perspective, we thought it was a sensible outcome. I speak to players all the time, so I don’t feel a particular need to spend additional time with Jude on that. I think he is aware of the investigation, and he’s an intelligent guy.”

Bellingham is expected to start for England on Saturday evening after his reprieve from UEFA’s Ethics and Disciplinary body. The Real Madrid star has scored twice in four matches in Germany, as England has stumbled into the last eight despite a string of unconvincing performances.

England has a great chance to finally break a 58-year major tournament drought, as they sit on the other side of the knockout bracket from all the other tournament favourites. A win over the Swiss, who eliminated Italy in the last 16 and impressed in a Group A draw with hosts Germany, would set up a semi-final against either Turkey or the Netherlands.