Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale will avoid punishment from the Spanish Football Federation after his controversial goal celebration during the 3-1 victory over Atletico Madrid in early February.
After netting Real’s third goal, Bale was greeted by a chorus of boos from the crowd, and the Welshman appeared to provoke these supporters by performing a ‘corte de mangas’ gesture, which can be viewed as offensive in Spanish culture.
League regulations state that obscene gestures can be punished with up to a 12-game ban, but Marca have confirmed that the Spanish Football Federation have decided against punishing Bale.
As a result, the 29-year-old will be available for Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Barcelona, and he will also be free to take part in El Clasico when the two sides meet in La Liga on Saturday.
However, whether manager Santiago Solari opts to field Bale in either match remains to be seen. The winger has cut an unhappy figure in recent weeks, shrugging off celebrations from Lucas Vazquez after scoring a penalty against Levante on Sunday.
Many have claimed that Bale’s recent actions are messages to Solari, who has dropped Bale from the Real lineup in recent weeks. He has started just two matches in 2019 and has instead been forced into accepting late substitute appearances, including in the first leg against Barcelona.
He has managed to net three goals in his last five league outings, and it is now up to Solari whether he wishes to reinstate Bale to the starting lineup. In Bale’s absence, the pairing of Vazquez and Vinicius Junior have dominated the team sheet, with young winger Marco Asensio also handed plenty of opportunities from the bench.
Away from the field, Bale has also reportedly struggled to adapt to life in Spain. Both Thibaut Courtois and Marcelo have claimed that Bale has isolated himself from his teammates, prompting rumours of a potential exit from the Bernabeu in the near future.