Jamie Vardy has jumped to the defence of England teammate Dele Alli, insisting the Spurs star's much-publicised middle finger gesture during the win over Slovakia was 'harmless' and does not require any retrospective punishment.
The Spurs midfielder was caught on camera using a middle finger gesture during the England victory on Monday night.
He has since claimed that it was a joke between himself and my friend Kyle Walker, and now Vardy has backed his international teammate.
“The middle finger? Come on, it’s harmless,” Vardy said, quoted by the Leicester Mercury. “It’s just something that has been blown out of proportion. He was doing it to Walks.
It’s just harmless banter and has been blown way out of proportion. They’re always having a laugh and a giggle. That’s just how they are.
“They were team-mates for a few years. They’re going to like to mess around, especially now that Walks has moved on himself.
“It would definitely be harsh [if he got banned]. If he is getting reprimanded for that, then we might as well take emotion and enjoyment out of the game.
“Everyone has got to have a bit of banter, otherwise I don’t think you would get through the day of being a footballer.”
FIFA have claimed that a decision will be made on whether to open any disciplinary proceedings after match reports from officials have been received, expected to be the end of the week.