Jude Bellingham faces UEFA probe over alleged offensive gesture as England hit with 2 charges

Jude Bellingham
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

UEFA have launched an investigation into Jude Bellingham's actions after he netted a sensational leveller against Slovakia last Sunday evening.

A spokesperson stated: "Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector will conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding a potential violation of the basic rules of decent conduct by the English FA player, Bellingham, having allegedly occurred in the scope of this match." Should Bellingham be deemed in contravention of Article 57 of the FIFA disciplinary code, he might be staring down the possibility of suspension and a significant monetary penalty.

Article 57 stipulates: "Anyone who insults someone in any way, especially by using offensive gestures or language, or who violates the principles of fair pay or whose behaviour is unsporting in any other way may be subject to sanctions in accordance with art. 10 ff." Moreover, UEFA has initiated disciplinary actions against the Three Lions for the use of pyrotechnics and unruly fan behaviour.

A UEFA representative clarified: "Following the review of the officials reports for ENG-SVK match, disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the English Football Association for lighting of fireworks and crowd disturbances. The CEDB will take a decision on this case in due course. No further proceedings were opened from this match."

Bellingham vehemently cleared himself of any ill intentions on social media platform X Sunday night, posting: "An inside joke gesture towards some close friends who were at the game. Nothing but respect for how that Slovakia team played tonight."

Recalling past incidents, back in 2019, Atletico Madrid's head coach Diego Simeone had to offer a public apology after he made a comparable gesture during a Champions League knockout match against Juventus. Cristiano Ronaldo, then at Juventus, lightheartedly mimicked the act after securing a hat-trick that turned the second leg of their encounter in Turin, following which UEFA reportedly slapped him with a substantial €20,000 fine for 'improper conduct'.

On another note, Slovakian manager Francesco Calzona expressed no grievances regarding Declan Rice, who will face no sanctions after their fiery post-match verbal tussle. The two needed separating after Calzoni sought out Turkish official Umut Meler and Rice seemed distinctly upset, though he was quickly restrained by fellow players.

Calzona disclosed later on: "Rice was supposed to go to the referees and say goodbye and then leave. I had to speak to the referees and he was carrying on, continuing to speak. Then he apologised and it all ended there."

Lip-reading experts have speculated that Rice may have uttered multiple swear words and poked fun at Calzona's lack of hair. Hero Bellingham remarked following his sensational, match-saving overhead kick: "You're 30 seconds from going home and having to listen to all the rubbish and feeling like you've let people down."

"Playing for England should be the most proud moment of your career but often it's quite difficult. There's a really high intense pressure. The fans expect a lot from us regardless of what happened in recent tournaments years and years ago."