Uefa is set to investigate England midfielder Jude Bellingham for potential indecent conduct after he was observed grabbing his crotch while addressing the crowd following a victory in the round of 16 against Slovakia at Euro 2024. Bellingham, aged 21, scored a remarkable equalizer in the 95th minute, pushing the match into extra time. He gestured towards critical England fans after his goal, then made the crotch gesture after the final whistle when England won 2-1.

An Uefa Ethics and Disciplinary Inspector will conduct a disciplinary investigation into a potential breach of the basic rules of decent conduct by the English Football Association player, Jude Bellingham, allegedly occurring during this match, according to a Uefa statement on Monday. Although Bellingham's aggressive goal celebration seemed to be a response to England fans, some spectators interpreted the crotch gesture as an affront to Slovakia.

Bellingham, however, clarified on social media that the gesture was a joke shared with friends. "An inside joke gesture towards some close friends who were at the game. Nothing but respect for how that Slovakia team played tonight," he stated. There has been no immediate response from Bellingham or the English Football Association to Uefa's statement.

The Real Madrid player, previously praised for his maturity, admitted feeling a surge of emotion after his bicycle-kick goal, amidst days of intense criticism of England on social media. "People talk a lot of rubbish and it's nice that, when you deliver, you can give them a little bit back," he told reporters shortly after the game in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday. He was seen walking alongside captain and fellow goalscorer Harry Kane when he kissed his hand and lowered it to his groin, according to footage of the players at the end of the game.

Uefa also announced charges against England's FA for their fans' use of fireworks and other disorderly conduct. European football's governing body has a range of sanctions available, from fines to suspensions. Albania's Mirlind Daku was banned for two games after inciting fans in offensive chants. Despite being pre-tournament favorites, England's performances have been oddly lackluster and disjointed. They will face Switzerland in the quarterfinals on Saturday.