Wednesday 23 May 2018

Dele Alli caught in a media storm after 'insulting gesture' during England game...but who was it directed at?

England's midfielder Dele Alli hit the headlines after his on-field gesture (GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
England's midfielder Dele Alli hit the headlines after his on-field gesture (GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli was drawn into a storm of controversy after he was caught on camera raising his middle finger in an apparent gesture of disrespect during England's 2-1 win against Slovakia art Wembley.

England took a giant step towards a place in next summer's World Cup final with their latest victory, but it was the actions of Alli that were the talking point after the match.

The Spurs midfielder is noted for having a somewhat feisty temperament and he could face a three-game ban from international matches if the game's authorities chose to act on a gesture that was caught on camera.

While some suggested Alli was abusing the referee or a Slovakian opponent, he suggested the gesture was merely a joke directed at his former Spurs team-mate Kyle Walker.

Meanwhile, England manager Gareth Southgate seemed a little confused by the incident, as he backed up Alli's version of the incident:

"Dele and Kyle Walker were messing about and Dele made the gesture towards Kyle," he said. "They have a strange way of communicating!"

Earlier this year FIFA hit Lionel Messi with a four-match ban for allegedly verbally abusing a match official, with Argentina superstar serving one game and had his suspension overturned on appeal.

Southgate will be hoping to avoid any sanctions, as he was bombarded with questions about the incident in his post match press conference.

"I've literally just gone and asked him quickly, so, for me, what it obviously does was detract from probably what was his best performance for us since I've been the manager," he added.

"His work without the ball was top drawer, he really took intelligent positions, pressed them all over and his work with the ball was excellent.

"He looked a real threat, played people in, made fantastic runs in behind the opposition defence, so hopefully we'll be talking about that once everything else is cleared up."

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