England midfielder Dele Alli has explained his middle finger gesture in their World Cup Qualifier game against as a joke directed towards teammate Kyle Walker.
Alli’s gesture was first thought to be directed at the centre referee, but television footage has backed his claim that former Tottenham Hotspurs right back was the target.
However, if FIFA consider that it was directed at referee Turpin, Alli could be ruled out for three matches, including the final two qualifiers against Slovenia and Lithuania and the first match of next summer’s World Cup finals should England qualify.
‘Just to clarify, the gesture tonight was a joke between me and my good friend Kyle Walker! Apologies for any offence caused!,’ Alli wrote on his official Twitter account.
Alli was shown making the gesture just before he was substituted by England coach, Gareth Southgate.
‘I’ve not seen it but I’ve been made aware of it. Kyle and Dele were mucking about, and Dele’s made a gesture towards Kyle.
‘I don’t know what the angle of the pitch is. The pair of them have a strange way of communicating, but that’s what they’ve said when it’s been raised,’ Southgate said.