Dele Alli to find out by Thursday if middle-finger gesture will lead to ban

Dele Alli will soon find out whether his ill-judged middle-finger gesture will lead to suspension, with FIFA’s disciplinary committee to decide on the England international’s fate by Thursday.

Gareth Southgate’s men are on the brink of World Cup qualification ahead of next month’s Wembley encounter against Slovenia and the trip to Lithuania.

England tightened their grip on Group F by securing a 2-1 comeback win against Slovakia at the start of September, although victory was overshadowed somewhat by Alli’s offensive on-field gesture at Wembley.

TV footage showed the 21-year-old swearing shortly after a collision with Martin Skrtel, but the player was quick to stress that it was aimed at team-mate Kyle Walker rather than the officials or any Slovakia player.

FIFA still opened disciplinary proceedings in the wake of that incident and will decide what, if any, punishment Alli will face by Thursday – the day Southgate names his latest England squad.

A FIFA spokesperson told Press Association Sport: “We can confirm that this case will be on the agenda of the Disciplinary Committee which is scheduled to meet on 27/28 September.

“The decision will be communicated in due course; please note that disciplinary decisions are usually notified and communicated a few days after the hearing.”

Alli could be hit with a ban, a fine or both for September’s incident.

If a lengthy suspension was handed out, the 21-year-old could miss the start of the 2018 World Cup assuming, as looks likely, Southgate’s team qualify.

The Football Association had until September 13 to respond to FIFA about the incident.

Press Association Sport understands the governing body’s submission included a plea in mitigation and video evidence showing that the gesture was aimed at Walker. Both Alli and his former Tottenham team-mate are also understood to have made statements as part of the submission to FIFA.

Source: By PA Sport Staff

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