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Bale escapes ban after provocative gesture

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GARETH Bale will not be banned for a “provocative” gesture he made after scoring for Real Madrid against Atletico Madrid earlier this month.

Bale was facing up to a 12-game ban for the ‘corte de mangas’ gesture he made after scoring Real’s third goal in the 3-1 derby victory at the Wanda Metropolitano on February 9.

The Wales international will instead be available this week for two huge matches against Barcelona, starting with Wednesday night’s Copa del Rey semi-final second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The two teams also meet in La Liga at the same venue on Saturday.

Bale was pictured making the gesture, apparently towards Atletico supporters, after coming off the bench to net their vital third goal with 16 minutes remaining.

The incident was not included in the referee’s report on the game, which saw Atletico’s Thomas Partey sent off, and La Liga appealed that decision to the RFEF (Spanish Football Federation).

But an RFEF statement on Wednesday said the referee’s decision not to sanction Bale in any way would stand as final, freeing Bale from the threat of sanction.

Bale’s goal celebrations were in the headlines again last weekend against Levante, when he appeared to push team-mate Lucas Vazquez away after scoring from the penalty spot.

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