05.07.2024 20:42 h

Bellingham handed suspended one-game Euros ban for crotch grab celebration

Jude Bellingham is available for England's Euro 2024 quarter-final with Switzerland after he was given a suspended one-game ban on Friday for his controversial celebration after scoring against Slovakia in the previous round.

In a statement, European football's governing body UEFA said that Bellingham would be fined 30,000 euros ($32,477) 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 (1) 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 equaliser which kept England in the tournament.

However, he claimed it was "an inside joke" directed at some friends.

England boss Gareth Southgate said UEFA had taken a "common sense decision" given the emotion surrounding Bellingham's stunning strike.

"I thought it was a common sense decision. 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," said Southgate 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 will almost certainly start for England in Dusseldorf 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 have stumbled into the last eight despite a string of unconvincing performances.

England have a great chance to finally break a 58-year major tournament duck as they sit on the other side of the knockout bracket to all of the other tournament favourites.

A win over the Swiss, who dumped out Italy in the last 16 and also impressed in a Group A draw with hosts Germany, would set up a semi-final with Turkey or the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, Germany face Spain and Portugal do battle with France on the other side of the bracket.

Under Southgate, England reached the last Euros final and went deep at the last two World Cups only to fall short, in the semi-finals in 2018 and the last eight four years later in Qatar.