(Reuters) – 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, 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.
But the midfielder, who despite his reputation has only ever been sent off once in three seasons for Spurs (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 on June 18. Panama and Belgium are the other teams in Group G.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru