FIFA World Cup 2018: England midfielder Dele Alli promises not to fall afoul of referees in Russia

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.

Dele Alli battles against Nigeria's John Obi Mikel in warm-up friendly. AP

Dele Alli battles against Nigeria's John Obi Mikel in a warm-up friendly. AP

The new rules, 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, who has come under scrutiny for previous incidents of hot-headed behaviour at Tottenham Hotspur, remains confident 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,” the 22-year-old told reporters.

“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 ban for making an obscene middle-finger gesture during England’s qualifier against Slovakia last year. However, the midfielder, who despite his reputation has only ever been sent off once in three seasons for Spurs, 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 on 18 June. Panama and Belgium are the other teams in Group G.

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Updated Date: Jun 11, 2018 12:06 PM

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