June 12 – Tottenham and England midfielder Dele Alli has been banned for one match by English football authorities over a post on social media about coronavirus.
Alli put a video on Snapchat in February in which he joked about the outbreak and appeared to mock an Asian man. The video had been sent to a group of 160 people on his “close friends” list.
The England international has also been fined £50,000 and ordered to undertake an education course. He will miss Spurs’ huge home clash against Manchester United on June 19, the first game back for both clubs.
The video posted by Alli showed him wearing a face mask in an airport lounge, before the camera moved to show a man of Asian appearance, and then zoomed in on a bottle of antiseptic handwash.
In his hearing, Alli said he had “very quickly” realised the video may have the “potential to cause upset” and deleted it before catching his flight.
He said he had been “betrayed” by a friend who sold the video on his private account to the media.
A three-strong panel ruled Alli was making an obvious connection between an Asian man and the virus and had used an “unacceptable racist stereotype” in a misguided attempt at humour but that it did not think Alli was a racist and that he was telling the truth.
In a statement, Alli said: “In response to the FA decision, I would like to apologise again for any offence caused by my behaviour.
“It was an extremely poorly judged joke about a virus that has now affected us more than we could ever have imagined.
“I’m grateful that the FA has confirmed that my actions were not racist because I despise racism of any kind. We all need to be mindful of the words and actions we use and how they can be perceived by others.”
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