According to the Mirror, Burnley have reported Leeds ace Ezgjan Alioski to the FA after a gesture the North Macedonian made towards Dwight McNeil in the Peacocks’ 4-0 victory.
The incident occurred in the 70th minute of the tie, footage shows that McNeil leaned over and appear to say something towards the Leeds man after he went down following a challenge.
The combative Alioski took offence to whatever McNeil did and lashed back by sticking his tongue out towards McNeil as he was being lifted up, before cupping his hands over his ears.
Some fans initially thought that this just Alioski being Alioski, with this reaction coming from the same man that teases opponents like this.
Marcelo Bielsa famously discussed the ‘resources’ the 29-year-old uses to get inside the head of his opponents, but yesterday’s actions have seen the ace accused of something much more sinister.
McNeil is mixed race and some fans have accused Alioski of making a ‘monkey’ gesture towards the winger, in a reaction that actually led to the match being halted.
Just read it’s alleged he was doing a monkey impression.. I’m sure it’s just Alioski being Alioski …. pic.twitter.com/zokM7ggGtD
— Fiona ? (@FionaB_88) May 15, 2021
Pictures from beIN Sports.
Here is what some football fans and viewers made of the incident:
Well he is pulling a monkey face at a black player
— Tom BFC (@Claret09_) May 15, 2021
Obviously it’s a monkey symbol, I expect a huge ban for him
— Dan (@DanTho1989) May 15, 2021
Seriously? He’s doing a monkey gesture at a black player. If you can’t see how that not even remotely racist, then you’re kinda clueless.
— Clifford Stewart (@Protenpinner) May 15, 2021
Did alioski just do a monkey jibe to McNeil?
— tony nash (@NashNash194) May 15, 2021
Type in monkey facial expressions in on google and you’ll see the same face alioski pulls
— Brad Hodgson (@BradHodgsonn) May 16, 2021
If it turns out Alioski never intended to be racists, it was a little stupid to pull a face that is very similar to a monkey face. Particularly at a time of heightened scrutiny that could be construed as racist!
— Jamie Crampton (@Jay_mate_Jay) May 15, 2021
The Times report that the Burnley and Leeds benches burst into argument after the incident, with referee Graham Scott forced to intervene after being alerted by the fourth official.
Scott had words with Sean Dyche and Marcelo Bielsa, as well as captains Ben Mee and Luke Ayling before the play was allowed to resume.
Dyche confirmed that a complaint had been made on behalf of one of his players after the match, but refused to dive into details at the time.