Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Southgate lauds UEFA´s ´common sense´ approach to Bellingham punishment

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Jul 2024


England manager Gareth Southgate is satisfied with UEFA’s “common sense decision” to hand Jude Bellingham a suspended ban.

Bellingham was fined €30,000 on Friday, while being hit with a one-match ban, which is suspended for a year dependent on good behaviour.

That was Bellingham’s punishment for an overzealous celebration after he scored a stunning overhead kick to restore parity in England’s Euro 2024 last-16 tie with Slovakia.

The Three Lions went on to win 2-1 after extra time, with Bellingham insisting on social media that the celebration had not been meant to cause any offence.

And while UEFA has punished the 21-year-old, Southgate believes the governing body has handled the situation well, with Bellingham available for England’s clash with Switzerland on Saturday.

“I thought it was a common sense decision,” Southgate said.

“When you score a goal of the quality that he did, at the age that he is, you are going to get a rush of adrenaline.

“There was no intent in the gesture towards anybody but communication he has with his family.

“From our perspective, we thought it was a sensible outcome.”

It has been reported England, who have limped their way through the tournament so far, will switch to a three-at-the-back system against the Swiss.

Southgate, though, was giving little away.

He said: “We’re always considering the best way to approach a game.

“We’re always trying to prepare to give our opponents the best possible game.”

Southgate, who will manage his 100th England game on Saturday, knows the Three Lions have more to give.

“You obviously want to play well as a team, your ambition is to play as well as you possibly can,” he added.

“Every team wants to excite, every team wants to score goals. We’ve played opponents who have made it very, very difficult for us.

“And there’s been a lot of expectation on the team in the early part of the tournament especially, so I feel that the team even in training now look in a different place mentally. They look more fluid, and I’m expecting us to play well.”

Southgate confirmed Luke Shaw was fit and available for selection, though did not reveal whether the left-back would feature.


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