Former Arsenal and Manchester United stars Lee Dixon and Ryan Giggs have claimed that Dele Alli could be in ‘big trouble’ for the middle-finger the midfielder gestured during last night’s round of World Cup qualifiers.
In the 76th minute of play, with England 2-1 up against second-placed Slovakia, Dele supposedly aimed the obscene gesture at former Spur Kyle Walker, who swapped Tottenham for Manchester City in the Summer transfer window which closed last week.
Following the match, it was revealed that FIFA were set to review reports from the match before possibly opening disciplinary action against the 21 year old.
Speaking to ITV, Lee Dixon claimed that the youngster may find himself in ‘big trouble’ if the referee has indeed spotted the gesture and included it in his match report.
“We have to talk about it because it’s on live TV,” He said. “It’s there, it’s in your face, everybody saw it.”
“The referee’s got a view of him walking towards him and if he’s looking at that, and I’m pretty sure he says something when he gets substituted, there’s a little chat going on there.”
“If the referee has seen it and it’s in his report, he’s going to be in trouble.”
Welsh Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs also weighed in on the matter, stating that it was the Englishman’s ‘frustration’ that lead him towards the unprofessional behaviour.
“He is one of those players who plays on the edge,” He added. “We always say it, he’s at his best when he plays on the edge.”
“He can be a bit nasty which he have complimented him for, it gives him that edge. A lot of that was frustration that he’s not getting played the ball by his team-mates.”
“I do like him, he’s come through the leagues, he’s done it the hard way. We’re not condoning that but he does live on the edge.”
The incident understandably caused a flurry of activity on social media, with many football fans taking to twitter to voice their opinions.
Many fans seem to feel as though the gesture should go unpunished, arguing that what’s been labeled by the England manager as a ‘light-hearted joke’ has been taken too seriously by certain individuals.
People who are genuinely offended at Dele Alli's middle finger last night need to get over themselves. Seriously.
— Noz Ahmed (@NozAhmed) September 5, 2017
If Dele Alli gets punished for a middle finger I give up 😂
— Michael (@Peake_7) September 5, 2017
Can't believe the circus surrounding Dele Alli giving the middle finger. Blown way out of proportion.
— BGM ♠️ (@B_mitch20) September 5, 2017
Dele Alli could get banned for showing middle finger? Seriously? Not being funny but it can't be that bad if it's an Emoji? 🖕🏼 #ENGSVK
— James Bower (@TheBowMonster) September 5, 2017
Our country needs to get a grip!So Dele Alli sticks up his middle finger & now should be banned and not fit to wear the shirt #Comical 🤣🤣
— Deanne Tomkins (@deetomkins9) September 5, 2017
However, there are some supporters who condemn Dele’s actions, labeling them as unprofessional and disgraceful, with some also suggesting that retrospective action would be entirely justified.
Dele Alli should be banned from the next three England internationals for that gesture. Disgraceful behaviour 😀
— Kiran Singh (@kezza187) September 5, 2017
Absolutely disgraceful from Dele Alli tonight. He's a role model to millions. Should be dropped by England if not disciplined.
— David Davenport (@Dav_F10Y) September 4, 2017
@England you have to discipline dele alli after disgraceful behaviour, he is a shocking example to all
— Dave Tillsley (@davet440) September 4, 2017
— Andrew C. Welch (@AndyCWelch) September 4, 2017
Not sure why @itvfootball pundits appear to be defending Dele Alli's appalling behaviour
— Tim Carr (@timbocarr) September 4, 2017
Dele Alli should now be dropped from the England squad. Disgraceful gesture to the referee last night. He won't be though. #WeakManager
— Nick Flower (@flower_nick) September 5, 2017
Personally, if it’s true that Dele aimed his finger at Walker, then I think there’s no issue here at all. They’re two human beings and if either of them is offended, it doesn’t take FIFA to resolve it.
However, if it was actually aimed at the referee then Dele definitely ought to be disciplined, but I don’t think this was the case.
How do you feel about the incident? And do you believe Dele when he says it was a joke shared between him and Walker?
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