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01st Jul 2024

Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice escape bans for Euro 2024 quarter-final

Zoe Hodges

That could have been disastrous for Southgate.

Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice are not expected to face UEFA charges despite a tumultuous end to their clash with Slovakia on Sunday night.

England looked destined to be heading home from Germany until Jude Bellingham’s 95th-minute equaliser forced extra time for the first time in this tournament.

However, after the net bulged and he peeled away with his teammates to celebrate, he was accused of making a crude gesture towards the Slovakia bench.

Taking to social media following the match, which England went on to win 2-1, thanks to a Harry Kane header, the Real Madrid midfielder defended himself by saying that the gesture was a joke aimed at his friends in the stands.

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

It had been suggested that Bellingham could face a one-match ban for the gesture, despite his explanation.

England have only scored four goals in as many games and two of those have come from Bellingham. A ban in the quarter-final stages would be disastrous for Southgate who will already be without Marc Guehi.

It’s not the first time a gesture like this has been made in a football match. Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone made an apology after a similar gesture in the Champions League in 2019 when his side beat Juventus. 

In the return leg, Cristiano Ronaldo mimicked his gesture but received a €20,000 fine for his troubles.

Following the conclusion of the match, Declan Rice was wrapped up in controversy as he clashed with the Slovakian manager, Francesco Calzona as he went to confront the referee.

Calzona was seen pushing Rice and the Arsenal midfielder had to be pulled away by his teammates as he responded with an explicit rant.

According to a lip-reader he said: “Shut up, p***y, oi, shut up, you bald ****.”

Calzona said in his press conference that the 25-year-old later apologised to him.

Mail Sport are now reporting that UEFA have no plans to issue fines or bans to the pair meaning they will both be available for selection against Switzerland despite their outbursts.

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