Royal Antwerp midfielder Radja Nainggolan has been suspended by the club after he was caught smoking on the substitutes’ bench before a recent game.
According to The Mirror, the former Roma midfielder was among the substitutes for Antwerp’s clash away at Standard Liege in the Belgian Pro League.
Antwerp lost the encounter 3-0 and were left red-faced when it emerged that Nainggolan had been pictured smoking an e-cigarette before kick-off.
The 34-year-old joined Antwerp last summer from Inter Milan and has scored six times in 54 appearances. He recently had more disciplinary problems when he was stopped by Belgian police for driving without a license.
His current club did not comment on the incident, but it appears that the midfielder has now crossed the line with his latest misdemeanor.
Nainggolan has been suspended indefinitely by club officials, but was brought on in the second half of the defeat against Standard when they were already three down.
Antwerp are currently second in the table, just a point behind leaders Genk, who they face in a huge clash on Sunday, October 23.
Royal Antwerp release statement after suspending Radja Nainggolan
After the photo of the midfielder went viral, Antwerp released a statement in which they explained why the veteran had been suspended.
They claimed that they had already had a conversation with the former Roma star and that his behavior was not setting a good example for his younger teammates.
The Belgian club stated (as per The Mirror):
“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.”
The midfield maverick has made over 550 appearances throughout an extremely successful career, which also includes 30 caps for Belgium.
The midfielder has been named in the Serie A Team of the Season four times, and was named Roma’s Player of the Season in 2017.
He is known for his high-energy performances in midfield, while also being tenacious and picking up many bookings.