No action taken by FA after investigation into gesture from Leeds' Ezgjan Alioski at Burnley winger Dwight McNeil

The FA have confirmed that no disciplinary action will be taken for a gesture made by Leeds United’s Ezgjan Alioski following a thorough investigation into a gesture made towards Clarets winger Dwight McNeil..

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 12:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 12:53 pm
Dwight McNeil fouls Ezgjan Alioski in the incident which led to the complaint
Dwight McNeil fouls Ezgjan Alioski in the incident which led to the complaint

After the Whites' 4-0 win at Turf Moor last month, Sean Dyche revealed a complaint had gone in to referee Graham Scott after an incident involving McNeil and the Leeds left back Alioski.

McNeil gave away a free kick for what looked a soft foul on the Macedonian, and bent down to scream in his face, with the North Macedonia international responding by sticking out his tongue and appearing to make a 'raspberry' gesture, which some on social media felt may have been more offensive.

Dyche said: "One of our players has made the report and I was just there to be a witness of the report and not of the incident.

"There has a report been made by one of our players to the referee and that is where it will stay for now."

The FA have investigated the matter, and a statement reads: "During a Premier League fixture on Saturday 15 May 2021 at Turf Moor Stadium, a complaint was made by a Burnley FC player that Leeds United FC’s Alioski had made a gesture, which was also captured on footage, towards another Burnley FC player during the 69th minute that could potentially be perceived as discriminatory.

"Alioski was spoken to by the Match Officials after the fixture. He denied making any form of discriminatory gesture and said that he had mockingly imitated a ‘cry baby’ gesture in response to having earlier been referred to as one by an opposition player.

"The FA began an investigation immediately and witness statements were taken from all relevant players and officials. The Burnley FC player that the gesture was made towards did not see it at the time and the complaint was made by a teammate.

"Alioski was interviewed by The FA and maintained his account to the Match Officials throughout that his gesture had not been discriminatory at any point or been intended to be discriminatory.

"All witnesses were also shown the video footage during the investigation. While the original complainant maintained that the gesture could be perceived as discriminatory, he stated that it could also be perceived as a childish schoolyard gesture. Another Burnley FC player accepted referring to Alioski as a ‘cry baby’ and a further Burnley FC player stated that he believed Alioski was acting childishly. No witnesses that were interviewed conclusively believed Alioski had made a discriminatory gesture.

"Based on all the available evidence in the case, The FA is not satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to charge Alioski with a breach of FA Rule E3.2 and he will face no further action.

"The FA is satisfied that the complaint was made in good faith and there is no suggestion of this being an intentionally false or malicious allegation.

"All complaints and allegations of discriminatory abuse are taken extremely seriously, and The FA encourages all participants who believe that they have been subject or witness to such conduct to report it through the appropriate channels."