Dele Alli’s one-finger salute earns him one match ban
Tottenham midfielder will miss England’s match against Slovenia on Thursday
Totteham and England midfielder Dele Alli will miss England’s next World Cup qualifier on Thursday night at Wembley. Photograph: PA
Dele Alli has been banned for one international match for making an offensive gesture during England’s World Cup qualifying match against Slovenia at Wembley last month.
Alli has also been fined €4,400 following the incident, although Fifa’s disciplinary committee said it accepted the gesture had not been aimed at the referee.
A Fifa spokesman said: “Following the incident that occurred during the match between England and Slovakia on September 4th 2017.. Dele Alli has been sanctioned with a suspension for one official match, and a fine of CHF 5,000 for making an offensive and unsporting gesture.”
The Fifa spokesman added: “Although the Disciplinary Committee was not convinced that the player directed the gesture at the referee, and regardless of whether it was allegedly directed at a team-mate, it did consider such gesture to be offensive and unsporting and therefore it amounted to a violation of art. 57 of the Fifa Disciplinary Code.”
TV footage showed the 21-year-old swearing shortly after a collision with Martin Skrtel, but the player was quick to stress that it was aimed at team-mate Kyle Walker rather than the officials or any Slovakia player.
Alli is set to miss next Thursday’s game against Slovenia at Wembley as England look to seal their place at next summer’s World Cup, but he could return for the final group game in Lithuania on Sunday.
Prior to the suspension being announced, England boss Gareth Southgate said he hoped Alli would learn from his mistake.
Southgate told the FA’s official website: “I’ve had a good chat with Dele about a lot of different things but the biggest disappointment for him is to miss football.
“So the outshot of all of this is that he recognises the responsibility and it’s important for him and us that he’s available for games which he wants to play.
“He’s a young player, a young man and young people are going to make mistakes - old people make plenty of mistakes.
“For certain, he knows something like what happened that night won’t happen again.”