Tottenham midfield star Dele Alli has been suspended for next week's clash against Manchester United due to a controversial social media post about the coronavirus, according to BBC. The England international published a Snapchat video in February where he joked about the outbreak and appeared to mock an Asian man. The Football Association suspended him for next Friday's clash against United, which is Tottenham's first game back since the pandemic outbreak in March.
"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," an FA statement read.
"However, it was subsequently found proven by an independent Regulatory Commission."
Alli has also been fined £50,000 (roughly $64,000) and must take an education course. In the video, Alli is wearing a mask at the airport, moved the camera to show an Asian man and then zoomed in on a handwashing station.
"In response to the FA decision, I would like to apologize again for any offence caused by my behavior," Alli said, according to the BBC.
"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."
Not having Alli for the match is a big blow for Spurs' creativity. Tottenham is in eighth place in the table but could finish the day as high as sixth with a victory, while greatly boosting its chances of qualifying for European competition. The 24-year-old has nine goals in 35 games for Tottenham this season.