The Football Association is expected to be able to provide additional television footage in support of England midfielder Dele Alli should it be requested by FIFA in the governing body’s ongoing disciplinary process.
Tottenham midfielder Alli was caught on camera making an obscene middle-finger gesture during Monday night’s World Cup qualifying win over Slovakia at Wembley.
It was originally suggested Alli had directed it towards referee Clement Turpin after a coming together with former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel on the edge of the Slovakia penalty area late in the match was not given as a foul.
Both the player and England manager Gareth Southgate, though, have since claimed it was in fact aimed in jest at team-mate Kyle Walker.
FIFA confirmed the governing body were continuing in ” gathering evidence”, which is also expected to include the official match report from the referee, and would not be making any more official comment at this initial stage.
However, Press Association Sport understands the FA have more television coverage of the incident, yet to be broadcast, which could be presented to back-up Alli’s stance should it be formally required.
Following the game, Southgate was asked about the incident – which came with 13 minutes remaining – and said it was ”mucking about” with close friend and former Spurs team-mate Walker.
Alli later took to Twitter to explain, writing: ”Just to clarify, the gesture tonight was a joke between me and my good friend Kyle Walker! Apologies for any offence caused! Great win 2nite.”
England goalkeeper Joe Hart also supported Alli after the 21-year-old Tottenham midfielder came under fire on social media following the broadcast of his actions, while striker Jamie Vardy subsequently brushed off the incident as “harmless banter” and said it had been “blown out of proportion”.
Despite the explanations and support from England team-mates, Alli could yet still find himself facing disciplinary action from FIFA for swearing, with the sanction of a suspension a possibility.
England won 2-1 at Wembley to move closer to securing their place at next summer’s World Cup finals in Russia with goals from Eric Dier and Marcus Rashford having turned the game around after falling behind inside three minutes.
The Three Lions return to action at home against Slovenia on October 5 and need only two points from their remaining two Group F qualifiers to secure a place at the 2018 World Cup.
FIFA’s disciplinary process regarding the incident involving Alli would be expected to have been completed one way or another before next month’s match at Wembley.
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