England officials have lodged their evidence in support of Dele Alli who was charged by FIFA’s disciplinary chiefs after his middle-finger salute was caught on camera during a game against Slovakia.
Alli could face a three-game ban which would rule him out of the start of next year’s World Cup finals but the FA have pleaded in mitigation because the offensive gesture was aimed at team-mate Kyle Walker and not the officials or opponents.
They have supported their case with footage of different camera angles and by stressing how the player made a swift admission and issued an apology on social media, soon after the match.
The Tottenham man was caught on camera making the gesture during the World Cup qualifier
Written statements were included from both Alli and Walker, to explain the gesture was a joke between friends and no offence was intended or taken.
England have also asked FIFA to confirm a decision will be made before next month’s qualifier against Slovenia in order for Alli to start any subsequent suspension before the World Cup in Russia.
There is no course of appeal for a sanction of a two-match ban or less.
Alli is banned from the first three games of Tottenham’s Champions League campaign after a red card for a reckless tackle against Gent in a Europa League tie last season.
Television footage appeared to clear Alli, with the gesture aimed at Kyle Walker rather than the referee