Monday 18 February 2019

Alli plans to keep a cool head in Russia

Dele Alli. Photo: PA
Dele Alli. Photo: PA

England attacking midfielder Dele Alli has promised to not fall foul of new FIFA regulations introduced for the World Cup which allow referees to punish players retrospectively for infringements during a match.

The new rules, which are backed by Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology, could lead to players being punished at the interval for foul play that went unnoticed during the first half.

Alli has come under scrutiny for a number of incidents of hot-headed behaviour since joining Tottenham Hotspur from MK Dons back in 2015.

However, he remains confident that he will avoid letting his temper get the better of him in Russia.

"When you're playing the games, you are focused on trying to help the team as much as you can," said the 22-year-old, who has represented England on 25 occasions.

"You don't want to put yourself in a position where you could jeopardise everything and lose the game for your team and your country. I'll just be myself, the way I always am."


Alli served a one-match suspension for making an obscene middle-finger gesture during England's World Cup qualifier against Slovakia last year.

But the midfielder, who despite his reputation has only ever been sent off once in three seasons for Spurs (during a Europa League tie), insists he has learned from his mistakes.

"I want to play with passion and I want to play with hunger in every game I play," Alli added.

"I've made mistakes in the earlier part of my career, but you have to make mistakes in order to learn from them. If you look at my record, I've definitely learned from my mistakes."

England kick off their World Cup campaign against Tunisia in Volgograd next Monday. Six days later they will take on Panama before coming up against one of the favourites to win the tournament - Belgium - in their final group game on June 28.

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