FIFA Opens Disciplinary Proceedings Against Dele Alli Over Bronx Salute
FIFA, the organization whose scandalous bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups revealed rampant institutional corruption, has opened disciplinary proceedings against England’s Dele Alli for his obscene gesture on Monday.
England were playing a qualifying match in an attempt to secure passage to Russia next summer, where, according to a Human Rights Watch report, 17 workers have died on World Cup stadium sites while facing “exploitation and labor abuses” alongside North Korean laborers working in conditions like “prisoners of war.”
England’s 2-1 victory was blemished by the actions of the 21-year-old, who’ll be key for the Three Lions in both Russia and presumably in Qatar in 2022, where 270 Indian laborers died every year between 2014 to 2016 while working on the country’s infrastructure before the tournament, as well as 160 between the months of January and July of this year.
While Amnesty International has exposed “the abuse of World Cup workers” and the fact that laborers “have suffered systematic abuses, [and] in some cases forced labor,” including “being paid late, having their passports confiscated by their employers, working in hazardous conditions,” FIFA can confirm that they’ll be heavily investigating Alli’s one-finger salute.
“We can confirm that disciplinary proceedings have been opened following this incident,” said a FIFA spokesperson. “Please understand we cannot comment further at this stage.”
According to some estimates, over 1,200 workers have been killed since Qatar was awarded the World Cup in 2010, and that number could reach 4,000 by the time the competition starts, but today’s agenda calls for the banning or fining of Mr. Alli.
According to Alli, the bird was aimed at former club teammate Kyle Walker. “Just to clarify, the gesture tonight was a joke between me and my good friend Kyle Walker!” he said on Twitter. “Apologies for any offense caused!”
“Kyle and Dele were mucking about, and Dele’s made a gesture towards Kyle,” said England manager Gareth Southgate. “I don’t know what the angle picked up by the camera is, so I don’t know if that is clear. The pair of them have a strange way of communicating but that’s what they’ve said when it’s been raised.”
Mauricio Pochettino, Alli’s club manager at Tottenham, also played down the incident: “There’s a lot of things worse than this situation. It’s true it’s not a fantastic gesture but it’s not a big issue. I don’t think it’ll be a big issue with FIFA or with us.”
Pochettino is obviously right, there are a lot worse things happening right now, but the irony of it all will clearly be lost on FIFA.