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Bale risks ban for ‘inciting’ Atletico fans with derby goal celebration


Real Madrid’s Welsh forward Gareth Bale (L) fights for the ball with Ajax’s Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong during the UEFA Champions league round of 16 first leg football match between Ajax Amsterdam and Real Madrid at the Johan Cruijff ArenA on February 13, 2019. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP)

Gareth Bale risks being banned for an upcoming Clasico against Barcelona after being reported by La Liga on Thursday for inciting Atletico Madrid supporters following his goal in Real Madrid’s 3-1 derby win last weekend.

Bale scored Real’s third goal after coming on as a second-half substitute in the game at the Wanda Metropolitano, but he is accused of an overly provocative goal celebration in response to jeers from home fans.

In a statement, La Liga said Bale was accused of “raising his right arm towards his head, a gesture of provocation towards the supporters, and then making a possibly obscene and derogatory gesture by raising his bent arm and hitting it halfway up with the other hand.”


The attempted gesture, known literally as a “sleeve-cutter”, is seen as highly offensive in Spain.

If the Welshman is found guilty of inciting rival fans, according to Spanish Football Federation rules he risks a ban of anything from four to 12 games, although a shorter suspension of one to three matches is more likely.

Real play Girona and Levante in their next two La Liga games before a double-header against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The teams meet first in the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg on February 27 and then clash again in the league on March 2.

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