Former Roma and Inter Milan midfielder Radja Nainggolan has been suspended by Royal Antwerp following his actions on the bench in Sunday’s defeat to Standard Liege.

Royal Antwerp star Radja Nainggolan has been suspended by the Belgian club after he was caught smoking on the subs’ bench before a recent league fixture.

The former Roma midfielder was named amongst the substitutes for Sunday’s Belgian Pro League clash away at Standard Liege, which Antwerp eventually lost 3-0. And Nainggolan’s efforts to sneak in a quick smoke of his e-cigarette before kick-off have also come unstuck as he was spotted by cameras and photographers and caught red-handed.

He has only recently been in hot water with his club after being stopped by Belgian police for driving without a licence – an incident which Antwerp did not comment on publicly. But his latest misdemeanour seems to have crossed the line with club chiefs, who have now suspended him indefinitely for his actions.

“The club had a conversation with Radja Nainggolan about his general behaviour and how this affects the club and the team. The club has decided to expel Radja from team A indefinitely. Neither the player nor the club will make any further comments on the club. this.”

A statement on Antwerp’s website read.

Nainggolan was thrown into the action on Sunday despite his pre-match cigarette, entering the fray at half-time when Antwerp were already trailing by three goals. The decision to suspend the 34-year-old will not have been taken lightly, either, given Antwerp are currently second in the table just a point behind Genk, who they face in a crunch clash on Sunday.

Nainggolan is best remembered for his time at Roma, as well as his colourful and often wacky hairstyles. He has enjoyed a decent career since making his professional debut in 2006, including spells at Piacenza, Cagliari and Inter Milan.

It was at Inter where he won his sole piece of silverware – the Serie A title in 2020/21, though he was voted into the division’s team of the year on four separate occasions. Nainggolan’s form in Italy attracted plenty of interest from Premier League clubs, including Manchester United and Chelsea, the latter of whom he turned down despite claiming they offered him more money than Inter did the following summer when he moved to San Siro.

“I have had plenty of chances to leave,” 

“I am the kind of person who above all needs to live well and be at a club which plays to win, or where I am happy with my life. In Italy, you live really well – I like the culture and way of life here. Chelsea offered me more money [while at Roma in 2017] and they are a big club, yes.

“But I’m interested in waking up in the morning in a place where I feel good and, at the age of 29, winning back all the respect I’d worked 12 years to earn in Italy was not for me.

“There are lots of components – lots to evaluate. I stayed in Italy, with Roma, because I wanted to end in the best way possible. There was Manchester too. There were many things that I was not interested in at all. Of course you are flattered by the interest, but this is how it is.”

He told ESPN at the time .

Source: Mirror

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