London — England were left fearing disciplinary action against Dele Alli after the midfielder was caught on camera making an obscene gesture during his side’s World Cup qualifier against Slovakia.
The Tottenham Hotspur player raised his middle finger during the 77th minute of Monday’s game at Wembley, which England won 2-1, and there were claims it was directed at French referee Clement Turpin.
England manager Gareth Southgate played down the incident, saying Alli had been sharing a joke with teammate Kyle Walker, but if Fifa decide to investigate the 21-year-old could face punishment.
"I’ve not seen it, but I’ve been made aware of it," Southgate said. "Kyle and Dele were mucking about and Dele made a gesture towards Kyle. I don’t know what the angle picked up by the camera is, so I don’t know if that is clear [who it was aimed at]. The pair of them have a strange way of communicating! But that’s what they’ve said when it’s been raised."
It was not clear from footage of the match who Alli had aimed his gesture at.