Friday 20 April 2018

Three-match ban looms for Alli following Yacob clash

Tottenham's Dele Alli is facing a three game ban (PA)
Tottenham's Dele Alli is facing a three game ban (PA)

Matt Gatward

Tottenham's Dele Alli is facing a three-game ban after being charged by the English FA for an alleged act of violent conduct which was not seen by the match officials during Monday night's game against West Brom.

The Spurs midfielder clashed with West Brom's Claudio Yacob - part of a running battle between the pair that lasted for most of the match - in the 26th minute and he appeared to punch his opponent in the stomach.

Alli has until 6pm this evening to reply to the charge. If the midfielder accepts the charge or contests it and is found guilty, he could be handed a three-game ban that would mean he would not play again this season - hardly ideal preparation for England with the European Championship finals looming.

Off-the-ball incidents which are not seen at the time by the match officials are referred to a panel of three former elite referees.

Each referee panel member reviews the video footage independently of one another to determine whether they consider it a sending-off offence. For retrospective action to be taken, and an FA charge to follow, the decision of the panel must be unanimous.


"Somebody told me something happened but I don't remember," Yacob said after the game. "If that happened it just stays on the pitch." Only it won't for Alli.

Meanwhile, Claudio Ranieri has warned that Leicester City could yet fail to complete a fairytale Premier League title triumph, declaring: "I believe only in the mathematics".

Ranieri described as "unbelievable" the prospect of his side sealing one of the great sporting success stories at Old Trafford on Sunday, admitting he felt "more light" after watching Tottenham drop two points on Monday to tee up that possibility.

The Leicester manager said his players believed they could achieve "something special" but insisted being seven points clear with three games to go did not mean the title was won.

Asked if he could ever have imagined taking his side to Manchester United with the crown within their grasp, he said: "No. Never. Never. It's unbelievable what has happened.

"We started just with the goal to save the team. But, slowly, slowly, the players are getting better, believe in something special. Everybody says, 'It is done'. In my opinion, no. The mathematics - I believe only in the mathematics."

Jamie Vardy will miss Sunday's showdown after being banned for an additional game for improper conduct. The Leicester striker angrily confronted referee Jon Moss after being picking up a second yellow card for diving during Leicester's 2-2 draw against West Ham on April 17.

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