Football Association to defend Dele Alli over one-finger salute

The Football Association (FA) has shown support to Dele Alli in the belief that they can prove the Tottenham midfielder was not directing a one-finger salute at the referee in England’s 2-1 World Cup qualifying victory over Slovakia on Monday

Alli, 21, was caught on camera gesturing his middle finger immediately after the French official, Clement Turpin, had waved away his appeals for a free-kick 13 minutes from time in the win against Slovakia at Wembley.

The player subsequently told his manager, Gareth Southgate, that the gesture had been made towards his former club-mate, Kyle Walker.

“Kyle and Dele were mucking about, and Dele’s made a gesture towards Kyle,” explained Southgate on Monday. “The pair of them have a strange way of communicating, but that’s what they’ve said when it’s been raised.”

Alli reiterated that explanation for his actions on Twitter late on Monday night, also apologising on said tweet “for any offence caused”, with Walker also suggesting on social media that he had seen the funny side of the incident, as well as one long-distance camera angle of the incident appears to support Alli’s version of events.

The FA also indicated that they will support Alli if contacted by Fifa about the incident. Members of the organization has already unearthed a closer camera shot, which has not been made public, which would back up Alli’s explanation and, if requested, will make it available to world football’s governing body in an attempt to prevent Alli being sanctioned.

However, FIFA indicated on Tuesday that it was “gathering evidence” before deciding whether or not to launch an investigation.

The world football governing body could also charge the 21-year-old with acting against the spirit of the game, an offence which most likely carry a fine or, at worst, a short suspension.

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