By Chineze Ogugua
Dele Alli has been handed a ban of one international match and a fine of 5,000 Swiss francs (£3,850) for making an offensive gesture during England’s World Cup qualifying win over Slovakia at Wembley this month, though the FIFA’s disciplinary committee said it accepted the gesture was not aimed at the referee.
Television footage had captured Alli raising his middle finger shortly after a collision with Martin Skrtel but the player claimed after the match it was aimed at his team-mate Kyle Walker rather than the referee.
In a statement released by FIFA through its spokesperson: “Following the incident that occurred during the match between England and Slovakia on 4 September 2017, Dele Alli has been sanctioned with a suspension for one official match and a fine of 5,000 Swiss francs for making an offensive and unsporting gesture.”
“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 article 57 of the FIFA disciplinary code.”
Alli will now miss next Thursday’s game against Slovenia at Wembley as England look to seal their spot at the 2018 World Cup.