England Goalkeeper Hart Warns Teammate Dele Alli 'World Is Watching' After Controversy
England goalkeeper Joe Hart has given teammate Dele Alli a word of advice about his conduct, after the Spurs star was seen giving a middle finger salute during England's victory over Slovakia on Monday night.
The Three Lions recovered after conceding early and goals from the returning Eric Dier and Marcus Rashford in a 2-1 home win all but sealed England's qualification for the 2018 World Cup.
However, Alli's gesture has come under close scrutiny, with reports saying he could be hit with an international ban, and West Ham keeper Hart has reminded the 21-year-old about the exposure on him when playing football as well as encouraging FIFA to be lenient over the situation.
That Dele Alli middle finger is going to be all over Twitter in approximately 3.2 seconds 😂— Niall McCaughan (@niallpfc) September 4, 2017
"The world is watching and Dele appreciates that," the England goalkeeper said to Sky Sports.
"Luckily and hopefully it was after 9pm and after the watershed. Kids are watching, Dele appreciates that. I'm sure it will be dealt with in the right way."
It appears that retrospective action against Alli will depend on what French referee Clement Turpin includes in his post-match report.
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— Dele (@dele_official) September 4, 2017
Alli late claimed on twitter that the gesture was a light-hearted action towards former Spurs teammate Kyle Walker, but allegations have been prompted which suggest the it was aimed at the referee.
Lionel Messi was originally suspended for four games for swearing at an assistant referee in the past, so Alli's insistence on the salute being a joke may not be taken seriously.
With England needing just two points from as many games to be confirmed as Group F champions, it is unlikely a ban for Alli will affect the side's hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.