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Dele Alli insists middle finger gesture was a joke but could still face punishment

England’s Dele Alli has claimed that the gesture was not aimed at the referee.

DELE ALLI HAS insisted the middle finger gesture he was caught on camera making during England’s win over Slovakia was aimed at Kyle Walker and not referee Clement Turpin.

Alli could find himself the subject of retroactive disciplinary action for seemingly expressing dissent toward the match official in the 2-1 World Cup qualifying victory at Wembley on Monday.

The incident took place following a challenge from Martin Skrtel which went unpunished, and subsequently prompted allegations that the gesture was directed at the referee.

England manager Gareth Southgate told a news conference Alli had targeted his former Tottenham team-mate, and the Spurs attacking midfielder has now used social media to reiterate that stance.

“Just to clarify, the gesture tonight was a joke between me and my good friend Kyle Walker! Apologies for any offence caused! Great win 2nite,” he wrote on Twitter.

Despite the explanation, Alli could still face a ban for the gesture. Lionel Messi was handed a four-game suspension earlier this year for swearing at an assistant referee during a World Cup qualifier.

The punishment was later rescinded due to a lack of evidence.

Goals from Eric Dier and Marcus Rashford saw England come from behind to win in London, moving five points clear at the top of Group F with two games to go.

Additional reporting by Sinéad Farrell.

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