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Bale avoids punishment for celebration against Atletico

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Real Madrid’s Welsh forward Gareth Bale reacts during the Spanish league football match between Real Madrid CF and Club Atletico de Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on September 29, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / OSCAR DEL POZO

Gareth Bale is free to play in both El Clasicos against Barcelona this week after the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) decided on Wednesday not to punish the Real Madrid forward for his celebration against Atletico Madrid.

After scoring in Real’s 3-1 victory earlier this month, Bale threw one arm under the other towards the Atletico fans, a gesture considered offensive in Spain.

La Liga filed a complaint against Bale for what it described as “a gesture of potentially obscene meaning” but the referee did not include the incident in his report.

The RFEF has confirmed in a statement it has not “found a breach of the rules of the game or action deserving either warning or disciplinary action”.

Bale could have been banned for up to 12 matches but the decision means he is available to face Barcelona in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday, as well as the two clubs’ meeting in La Liga on Saturday.

But his selection in Madrid’s starting line-up remains in doubt. Santiago Solari has picked him only twice in the last eight matches and Bale has been heavily criticised for refusing to celebrate a goal he scored against Levante last weekend.


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