Portugal denied midfielder Raul Meireles gave a World Cup referee the finger in his side`s stormy 4-0 defeat to Germany, insisting that he was merely gesturing a tactical switch.
Pictures on social media show Meireles, who sports a distinctive Mohawk hairstyle, raising the third finger on both hands to referee Milorad Mazic who had sent off Real Madrid defender Pepe.
But the the Portuguese football federation (FPF) defended the Fenerbahce player, claiming there was nothing vulgar about the gesture.
"He was passing on to teammate Bruno Alves the instructions being relayed by coach Paulo Bento," said a FPF statement.
I retired three years ago but I am still training with Arsenal because I have a good relation with the club and Arsene Wenger. So it's been easy to come out of retirement.