Harry Redknapp risks disciplinary action from Uefa after making an angry gesture towards opposing fans as Tottenham Hotspur exited the Europa League.
Redknapp was the target of taunting from a section of Shamrock Rovers supporters throughout his team's 4-0 win in Dublin. The chants centred on the manager's trial next month on charges of cheating the public revenue – charges he vigorously denies – and Redknapp was so riled that midway through the second half he responded with what appeared to be an "up-yours" gesture that brought even more raucous denunciationfrom the fans.
Tottenham's manager, however, denied the gesture was obscene and sought to make light of the exchange. "I didn't make any obscene gesture," he said. "I've spent enough time in Ireland over the years to know what fantastic people live here – there's nowhere nicer in the world. I'm not just saying that because I'm here.
"If you go and meet them afterwards they are probably lovely people. But when you get people together, sometimes they shout a load of nonsense. That's football, that's life; I don't hold any grudges."
It remains to be seen whether Uefa will take a similarly nonchalant view of an exchange which leaves Redknapp at risk of disciplinary action for the second time in less than a week. He received a letter from the Football Association censuring him for comments he made about the referee Chris Foy after Tottenham's Premier League defeat at Stoke City on Sunday.
Interaction with the crowd was not the only source of frustration for Redknapp on a night when his team cruised to victory over the Irish champions but were eliminated from the Europa League owing to results elsewhere.
Rubin Kazan and Paok Salonika, who each beat Spurs in the previous two European games, qualified at their expense. Although Redknapp never fielded his strongest side in the competition and made it clear that the Premier League is his priority, he maintained that he had expected his team to go through and was disappointed at being eliminated. He laid the blame on "a bad 15 minutes" in the 2-1 home defeat by Paok last month rather than his own team selection.
"I was desperate to stay in it," he said. "We just had a bad 15 minutes against the Greeks. Everything had gone to plan until then and it was a big upset to lose at home. [Our elimination] had nothing to do with team selection – yes, I played a couple of youngsters but alongside seven or eight full internationals. We're out, but it's not through lack of effort."