Dele Alli to miss Man Utd visi...


Dele Alli to miss Man Utd visit after ban for coronavirus post

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Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli has been given a one-match ban by the English Football Association for an offensive social media post.

Last February, the 24-year-old England international posted a video on Snapchat in which he joked about the the outbreak of coronavirus and appeared to mock an Asian man.

Alli has also been ordered to pay a fine of £50,000 (€55,000) and to undertake an education course.

He released an apology video the day after the original Snapchat post but he has also released a statement to apologise for the incident after receiving his punishment today.

"In response to the FA decision, I would like to apologise again for any offence caused by my behaviour," said Alli.

"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."

The ban means that he will miss the Premier League visit of Manchester United next Friday, 19 June.

At the time of the incident the virus, which spread from the Chinese city of Wuhan, had killed 910 people globally and infected more than 40,000.

Currently in the UK alone, over 41,000 people have lost their lives to Covid-19 while nearly 300,000 people have been infected.

The Spurs player claimed at the hearing that a friend had 'betrayed' him by selling his private Snapchat video in which Alli was wearing a surgical mask in an airport lounge on 6 February.

The camera then zoomed in on an Asian man, with the caption "Corona whattttt, please listen with volume".

He quickly deleted the video that had been sent to a group of 160 people on a list of "close friends" before posting an apology.

Alli revealed at the hearing that one of the people on the list copied the video and sold it to a national newspaper.

The FA explains in the written reasons for their decision: "The player explained he decided to delete the video before he boarded his flight to Dubai.

"It was the following day that he became aware that he had, in his words, been ‘betrayed’ by someone on his Snapchat group and the post had been given to the media."

Alli also said that he focused on the Asian man as he was coughing and that it was not because of his race.

In response, the FA report reads: "It was not the FA’s case that Dele Alli was a racist. The FA’s case was that ‘without sufficient thought’, the player shared a video that depicted an ‘unacceptable racist stereotype’ in a misguided attempt at humour.

"He was selected, argued the FA for his appearance and not because there had been any coughing. That ‘targeting’ was said to be consistent with a racial stereotyping of persons of Asian appearance being connected with coronavirus."

In a short post on the official Tottenham website, the club added: "Our thoughts continue to be with everyone affected by COVID-19."

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