Football: Fifa open disciplinary proceedings against Dele Alli

England's midfielder Dele Alli has an unsuccessful shot during the World Cup 2018 qualification football match between England and Slovakia at Wembley Stadium in London on Sept 4, 2017.
England's midfielder Dele Alli has an unsuccessful shot during the World Cup 2018 qualification football match between England and Slovakia at Wembley Stadium in London on Sept 4, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

London (AFP) - Fifa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli after the player was caught making an obscene gesture during an England match, the world governing body announced on Friday.

Alli was caught sticking his middle finger up during the national side's World Cup qualifier against Slovakia on Monday.

He said after the match the gesture had been directed as a joke at team-mate Kyle Walker.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, speaking on Thursday, had played down the incident.

"It's true it's not a fantastic gesture but it's not a big issue. It was a joke in a moment with his teammate. I don't think it'll be a big issue with Fifa or with us."

Alli, 21, has had a number of run-ins with the football authorities and has faced calls to curb his fiery temperament.