Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Alli's Handed One-Game Ban by FIFA for Gesture

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Alli's Handed One-Game Ban by FIFA for Gesture

Article excerpt

DELE Alli will have breathed a sigh of relief after only receiving a one-match ban from FIFA for the middle-finger gesture which threatened to impact England at next summer's World Cup.

Not for the first time in his short career, the talented 21-year-old has found himself under the spotlight for a moment of poor judgement on the pitch.

Alli flicked up his middle finger during the World Cup qualifier against Slovakia earlier this month - an incident caught on camera, leading to initial speculation it could have been aimed at the referee.

Tottenham's attacking midfielder swiftly took to social media to explain it was aimed at England team-mate Kyle Walker, although FIFA still opened disciplinary proceedings which have bubbled on into this week.

The worst-case scenario was a ban stretching into next summer's World Cup, presuming the Three Lions qualify, but the world governing body's disciplinary committee has shown leniency after accepting it was not aimed at the referee.

A FIFA spokesperson said: "Following the incident which occurred during the match between England and Slovakia on September 4 2017, the English player 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.

"Although the disciplinary committee was not convinced the player directed the gesture at the referee, and regardless of whether it was allegedly directed at a team-mate, it did consider such a gesture to be offensive and unsporting and therefore it amounted to a violation of art. 57 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code."

The 5,000 Swiss francs (PS3,800) fine is small fry for Alli, while the ban for Thursday's home qualifier against Slovenia is not too severe.

It is believed the Football Association would not be able appeal the ban so just want to move on, the one-match ban meaning Alli can play a part in the final Group F match in Lithuania. …

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