September 29, 2017 / 11:30 AM / 23 days ago

England's Alli handed one-match ban for gesture

LONDON (Reuters) - England midfielder Dele Alli will miss the World Cup qualifier against Slovenia next week after being handed a one-match ban for making an obscene middle-finger gesture.

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - Premier League - West Ham United vs Tottenham Hotspur - London Stadium, London, Britain - September 23, 2017 Tottenham's Harry Kane celebrates scoring their second goal with Dele Alli .REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

Alli was caught on camera raising his finger in the direction of French referee Clement Turpin during England’s qualifier against Slovakia at Wembley this month and had risked a potential four-game ban.

He had said the gesture was made in jest towards his former Tottenham Hotspur team mate Kyle Walker.

World soccer’s ruling body FIFA ruled on Friday that the 21-year-old’s behaviour had been “offensive and unsporting” and also fined him 5,000 Swiss francs (3,853.73 pounds).

Alli, who has been named in England’s squad for the next two qualifiers, will now be available to play Lithuania on Sunday week.

England lead Group F on 20 points, five ahead of second-placed Slovakia, and are one win away from sealing their spot at next year’s World Cup in Russia.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond

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