Federation Internationale de Football Association bans Dele Alli over offensive gesture

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Alli claimed he was directing the gesture at a teammate

The 21-year-old's ill-judged middle-finger gesture in the match against Slovakia has been pored over by Federation Internationale de Football Association, leaving the attacking midfielder potentially facing a ban for the end of qualification and maybe beyond.

Anything more than a two-game ban would see Alli unable to play in England's World Cup openers in Russian Federation, if qualification is secured.

"Yes, Kane has scored five goals in his last four caps but Southgate needs to think bigger ahead of the World Cup this summer".

It marks another missed fixture for Alli, who has already missed two Champions League matches this season due to a straight red card in a Europa League match with Gent during the last campaign. He will however be available for the match against Lithuania on Sunday.

England will face third-placed Slovenia on 5 October before travelling to Lithuania three days later.

The Three Lions are all but qualified for next summer's tournament in Russian Federation already, sitting five points clear of second-placed Slovakia in Group F and needing only a win to secure their qualification.

The inclusion of Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph was one such decision which raised eyebrows, yet Southgate says that this is apart of creating depth in every spot on the pitch.

"For certain, he knows something like what happened that night won't happen again". "We hope to have him available".

Southgate is without as many as 12 players through injury for this meet-up, with such paucity of options particularly striking in a midfield.

"Old people make mistakes, so young people will do".

Injuries have deprived the Three Lions of an entire team's worth of talent, including the likes of Danny Rose, Adam Lallana, Danny Welbeck and Jamie Vardy, and the result is call-ups for individuals Southgate may otherwise have stood down. For a player there is only so many weeks you can do that.

England are on course to secure their place in Russian Federation, next summer.

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