Alli’s one-fin­ger salute earns match ban and ¤4,400 fine

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SOCCER -

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 ar­ti­cle 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.

‘Good chat’

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.”

TV footage showed the 21-year-old swear­ing shortly after a col­li­sion with Martin Skr­tel

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