Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli could be suspended for the rest of the season after the Football Association charged him with violent conduct for an incident against West Brom.
Alli was involved in a confrontation with West Brom’s Claudio Yacob in the 26th minute of Monday’s 1-1 draw.
With referee Mike Jones watching the ball on the wing, Yacob jostled Alli as the players ran into the box. Alli responded by spinning and striking the West Brom player in his midriff.
“Dele Alli has been charged for an alleged act of violent conduct which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video,” the FA said in a statement.
The PFA Young Player of the Year has until Wednesday at 6 p.m. to decide whether to appeal.
Alli’s season will be over if he accepts the FA charge, which would result in a three-match ban. He would miss the final games against Chelsea, Southampton and Newcastle.
It would be a blow to Tottenham’s slim hopes of catching Premier League leaders Leicester, who sit seven points clear of the North London club.
In September, Chelsea’s Diego Costa was retroactively suspended for three games for putting his hands to the face of Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny.
Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger was also banned three games in December after elbowing West Ham’s Winston Reid on a play that was missed by officials but captured on video.
Since Jones did not see the play on Monday, the incident was reviewed by a panel of three former referees.
“Each referee panel member will review the video footage independently of one another to determine whether they consider it a sending-off offence,” the FA said in its statement.
“For retrospective action to be taken, and an FA charge to follow, the decision of the panel must be unanimous.”
Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli charged following West Brom match https://t.co/YqHebF2JuH
– The FA (@FA) April 26, 2016
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino admitted after the game that Alli is prone to strong reactions when provoked.
“I hear some comments but I have no time to see the action,” Pochettino said. “Sometimes the opponent find him and try to provoke, they know he has a strong character and may react.
“I don’t know what has happened, we will see. I have nothing to comment now but Dele has a strong character if you wind him up.”