- Spurs star faces possible three-match ban meaning he would miss World Cup opener
- Alli claims middle finger was aimed at former Tottenham teammate Kyle Walker
- Striker’s fate depends on referee’s match report
Dele Alli has insisted his one-finger salute in England’s 2-1 win over Slovakia was just a joke.
It looked as if Alli directed the gesture at French referee Clement Turpin.
But the Tottenham star insisted after the game that he was having a wheeze with his England team-mate Kyle Walker.
“Just to clarify, the gesture tonight was a joke between me and my good friend Kyle Walker! Apologies for any offence caused!” he tweeted.
TV pictures from Wembley appeared to back him up.
If FIFA decide it was directed at the ref, Alli would be at risk of being ruled out for three matches, including the final two qualifiers against Slovenia and Lithuania and the first match of next summer’s World Cup finals in Russia should England qualify.
England manager Gareth Southgate said: “I’ve not seen it but I’ve been made aware of it. Kyle and Dele were mucking about, and Dele’s made a gesture towards Kyle.
“I don’t know what the angle of the pitch is. The pair of them have a strange way of communicating, but that’s what they’ve said when it’s been raised.”
Former England and Arsenal star Ian Wright believes Alli will regret the gesture. “Now he’s in the dressing room he will be thinking, ‘Gosh, what have I done there?’ he said.