The Football Association has sent a video to Fifa in a bid to prove that Dele Alli’s middle-finger gesture was aimed at England team-mate Kyle Walker and not an official or opponent. Television pictures showed the gesture during England’s 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Slovakia last week.
World football’s governing body opened proceedings against Alli, who said it was a “joke with good friend” Walker. The case will be reviewed by the disciplinary committee before the end of the month.” The incident occurred in the 77th minute after Alli was body-checked by Fenerbahce defender Martin Skrtel, and referee Clement Turpin waved play on. It initially appeared that Alli gestured towards Turpin, with whom he also had words when he was substituted in the 93rd minute.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, who also described the gesture as a joke, said Alli was unlucky to be caught on camera and that his general behaviour is fantastic. The players, who have both given evidence to the FA, were team-mates at Spurs until Walker joined Manchester City this summer.
The FA has asked FIFA to confirm whether the decision will be made before England’s next World Cup qualifier, against Slovenia at Wembley on 5 October.