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Dele Alli banned for one England game

Dele Alli will only miss one England international match Credit: PA

England midfielder Dele Alli has been banned for one international match for his gesture during the World Cup qualifier against Slovakia earlier this month, world governing body FIFA has announced.

Alli has also been fined 5,000 Swiss francs (£3,800) following the incident, although FIFA's disciplinary committee said it accepted the gesture had not been aimed at the referee.

A FIFA spokesman said: "Following the incident that occurred during the match between England and Slovakia on 4 September 2017.. Dele Alli has been sanctioned with a suspension for one official match, and a fine of CHF 5,000 for making an offensive and unsporting gesture."

The FIFA spokesman added: "Although the Disciplinary Committee was not convinced that the player directed the gesture at the referee, and regardless of whether it was allegedly directed at a team-mate, it did consider such gesture to be offensive and unsporting and therefore it amounted to a violation of art. 57 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code."

TV footage showed the 21-year-old swearing shortly after a collision with Martin Skrtel, but the player was quick to stress that it was aimed at team-mate Kyle Walker rather than the officials or any Slovakia player.

Prior to the suspension being announced, England boss Gareth Southgate said he hoped Alli would learn from his mistake.

Southgate told the FA's official website: "I've had a good chat with Dele about a lot of different things but the biggest disappointment for him is to miss football.

"So the outshot of all of this is that he recognises the responsibility and it's important for him and us that he's available for games which he wants to play.

"He's a young player, a young man and young people are going to make mistakes - old people make plenty of mistakes.

"For certain, he knows something like what happened that night won't happen again."

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Pochettino: Dele Alli's so good he could go in goal

Dele Alli started as a second striker before leading the line when Son Heung-min went off injured. Credit: PA

Mauricio Pochettino joked that Dele Alli could probably play in goal after Tottenham's young midfielder proved adept in an unfamiliar striker role.

The midfielder filled in for his England colleague Harry Kane and scored in Sunday's 2-1 win over Southampton.

Alli began the game as a second striker before leading the line after Son Heung-min was substituted.

It means the 20-year-old has now played central midfield, left and centre of an attacking three and up front for Pochettino.

"Dele Alli always can surprise and you can't guess with him. He has an unbelievable personality and character and it is all possible with him," the Spurs boss said.

"In the box he looks like a striker because he is more than clever, he has made his mark. Outside the box playing like a midfielder, I saw him at 17 years old playing at Milton Keynes as a holding midfielder against Manchester United.

"And I don't know, always he can surprise me, maybe one day he can play as a goalkeeper or as a full-back or centre-back."

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