Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli has been handed a one-match suspension for a social media post he made about coronavirus back in February. The England international will now miss the fixture with Manchester United, and will also have to pay a £50.000 fine and will have to complete an education course.
The 24-year-old Alli posted a video on Snapchat in which he joked about the virus and he appeared to be mocking an Asian man. Alli quickly deleted the video and issued an apology through the Chinese social media network Weibo.
“It wasn’t funny and I realised that immediately and took it down,” said Alli in February. “I let myself down and the club. I don’t want you to have that impression of me because it wasn’t funny … It isn’t something that should be joked about. I’m sending all my love and all my thoughts and prayers to everyone in China.”
Despite his apology the FA decided to suspend Alli. “The Tottenham Hotspur FC player denied that a social media post breached FA Rule E3(1), as it was insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute, and constituted an ‘Aggravated Breach’, which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as it included a reference, whether express or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin and/or nationality. However, it was subsequently found proven by an independent Regulatory Commission.”