England midfielder Dele Alli faces a ban, after Fifa confirmed it has launched disciplinary proceedings against the England midfielder, who was caught on camera giving a middle finger salute during England's win over Slovakia on Monday (4 September).
The gesture, which came immediately after referee Clement Turpin had waved away Alli's appeals for a free-kick, was captured by TV cameras. The England international insisted it was a joke aimed at his teammate Kyle Walker and not, as some suggested, at the referee or at Slovakia defender Martin Skrtel.
However, Fifa said after the game that it was gathering evidence into the incident and on Friday (8 September) it confirmed it had decided to launch an investigation into the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder's conduct.
"We can confirm that disciplinary proceedings have been opened following this incident," a FIFA spokesperson said.
"Please understand we cannot comment further at this stage."
Should Alli receive a three-match ban, he would miss England's two remaining World Cup qualifiers as well as the Three Lions' first fixture at the World Cup in Russia this summer.
The 21-year-old, who took to Twitter after the game and "apologised for any inconvenience caused", told England manager Gareth Southgate the gesture was not aimed at the referee and Walker confirmed it was a joke between them.
"Kyle and Dele were mucking about, and Dele's made a gesture towards Kyle," explained Southgate. "The pair of them have a strange way of communicating, but that's what they've said when it's been raised."
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino also came to Alli's support, claiming the player "doesn't deserve to be banned" as there are bigger issues in football.
"There's a lot of things worse than this situation," Pochettino said. "It's true it's not a fantastic gesture but it's not a big issue. I don't think it'll be a big issue with Fifa or with us."
"Maybe the headlines are because it's Dele and something happens. And he's English. But I think it's not a big issue."
On Tuesday (5 September), the Football Association said it would support Alli should he be contacted by Fifa, adding it believed it could prove the gesture was in fact aimed at Walker and not at the French referee.
According to the Guardian, the FA has come into possession of a closer camera shot, which has not been made public, which would confirm Alli's version of events and could be made available to football's governing body if required.