Dele Alli banned for 1 international match for obscene gesture

Dele Alli. (Tim Ireland, File/AP)

GENEVA — England midfielder Dele Alli has been banned for one international match for making an obscene gesture during a World Cup qualifier against Slovakia.

FIFA says its disciplinary committee "was not convinced that the player directed the gesture at the referee" but considered it to be "offensive and unsporting."

The 21-year-old Alli said the gesture was directed at teammate Kyle Walker, with England coach Gareth Southgate backing the player and saying at the time that Alli and Walker "have a strange way of communicating."

Alli, who has also been fined 5,000 Swiss francs ($5,000), will not be available for England’s World Cup qualifier against Slovenia at Wembley Stadium on Thursday. England leads Group F by five points and will qualify automatically with a victory.

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