Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli has been punished for his middle-finger gesture.
The 21-year-old made the offensive signal while on international duty with England during a World Cup qualifier against Slovakia at Wembley.
The incident was not spotted by referee Clement Turpin at the time, which forced FIFA to step in.
Alli insisted that his middle finger was aimed at teammate Kyle Walker as a “joke” and not directed at the match official after he failed to penalise Martin Skrtel for a challenge on the England midfielder.
FIFA has recognised that Alli did not target the referee, the world governing body has still issued a one-game ban on the Tottenham star.
This means that Gareth Southgate will be unable to include the young player in his squad for next Thursday’s qualifier against Slovenia.
Alli, whose form has been criticised this season, has also been ordered to pay a fine of £3,850.
According to The Guardian, a FIFA spokesperson said:
“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 teammate, 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.”
Tottenham fans have had their say on the ruling.
— Cockney Yid (@yorkshirespurs) September 29, 2017
— Ross Paul (@rosspb) September 29, 2017
Like that would happen to a (for instance) German player.
— Jill Lewis (@jilllewis33) September 29, 2017
Good can’t we make it more so he can rest up ?
— I Am Groot (@BettisCarl) September 29, 2017
Great news! Keeps him fresh for Spurs… #coys
— David Lynch (@davidlynch333) September 29, 2017
Pathetic by FIFA!
— Rich (@ivans_smart) September 29, 2017
— CK (@CK37st) September 29, 2017
Just looking to make an example of him and pocket a nice fine.
— riksta_tweet (@rsgrant777) September 29, 2017