Joe Hart has warned Dele Alli “the world is watching” after he was caught making an obscene gesture during England’s win over Slovakia.
Tottenham star Alli was caught making a middle-finger gesture in the 76th minute of the 2-0 victory, though both he and England boss Gareth Southgate insisted afterwards it was aimed in jest at team-mate Kyle Walker.
Alli later took to social media to offer an apology and Hart has urged football’s authorities to be lenient with the 21-year-old.
“The world is watching and Dele appreciates that,” the England goalkeeper said.
“He is a young expressive guy who is trying to get to the peak of his game and sometimes he is going to do things that not everyone is going to agree with.
“I think we all know what has gone on – no one has got hurt from it, let’s be honest.
“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.”
FIFA may choose to review the incident with Alli facing possible retrospective action, depending on what French referee Clement Turpin includes in his report.
Alli’s gesture slightly marred what was an otherwise positive night for England, who now require just two more points from their final two Group F games to secure their place at next year’s World Cup finals in Russia.