Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli charged with violent conduct
Spurs attacking midfielder Dele Alli could miss the rest of Tottenham’s season after being charged by the Football Association (FA) of violent conduct. Alli had reportedly punched West Bromwich Albion midfielder Claudio Yacob during their match on Sunday.
The incident was missed by referee Mike Jones as it was not included in the post-match report submitted by him. Television footage later emerged of the 20-year-old punching Yacob in the stomach while anticipating a cross in the West Brom penalty area.
The charge of violent conduct usually entails a three-match ban. A guilty verdict by the disciplinary panel would result in the midfielder missing out on the rest of Spurs’ matches this season. Such off the ball incidents missed by match officials are referred to a panel consisting of three retired elite referees set up to decide the course of action to be taken.
The newly crowned PFA (Professional Footballer’s Association) Young Player of the Year has been given time until Wednesday, 27th April to respond to the charge.
Alli had claimed that Yacob had hit him earlier in the game and he had squared up to the 28-year-old after being fouled as early as in the 5th minute. Alli reportedly punched Yacob in the 26th minute although the Argentine claims to not having any memory of the incident. "I don't remember it. It was nothing.” Yacob said.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino had not seen the incident and reacted to the news saying, “Sometimes the opponents find him and try to provoke. They know he has a strong character and may react."
Dele Alli’s temper has been likened to that of a hotheaded young Wayne Rooney by Liverpool legend and TV pundit Jamie Carragher. Living up to these comparisons, Alli has received 7 yellow cards in his 28 Premier League appearances for Spurs this season.
The 20-year-old midfielder was signed by Tottenham from Championship side MK Dons in February of 2015, but was loaned back to the Dons for the remainder of the 2015 season. Alli moved to White Hart Lane in the summer and has been an impressive performer this season with 10 goals and 9 assists under his belt from 28 appearances in the Premier League, forming a formidable partnership with Harry Kane.
Tottenham drew 1-1 to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday and trail table-topping Leicester by seven points. The draw dealt a major blow to their title chances with Leicester now only needing one win from their next three fixtures to seal the title.