Tottenham star Dele Alli gets Premier League suspension for social media post mocking coronavirus

first_imgThe excitement about the return to competition for the Premier League might be muted for Tottenham Hotspur fans after star midfielder Dele Alli received a one-game suspension for a SnapChat video he posted that was deemed “insulting” by the Football Association.The FA announced Thursday that Alli will be banned from the Spurs’ crucial June 19 game against Manchester United because of the video he posted that appeared to mock an Asian man and made light of the coronavirus, which became a pandemic that has killed more than 400,000 people worldwide. That apology was not enough to avoid punishment from the FA, which released a statement:“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.”Alli subsequently responded in a statement that he was relieved to be cleared of the racism charge and reiterated his apology for the “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.” He also must pay a fine of $63,220 and go through a training course.Alli has started 20 Premier League games for Tottenham in 2019-20, scoring eight goals and assisting on four others. He is one of England’s top midfielders and started four games as they reached the semifinals at the 2018 World Cup.MORE: What to know about Premier League’s returnHis absence from Tottenham’s first game back will be particularly punitive. Spurs stand eighth in the Premier League with 41 points, four behind fifth-place Manchester United. With Manchester City banned from European competition for two seasons — that penalty is under appeal — fifth place currently represents a Champions League berth. Spurs could close the gap to a single point, but will have to do it without one of their best players.Alli’s video showed him in an airport wearing a protective facemask, then cut to a shot of an Asian man before sweeping to a shot of a bottle of hand sanitizer. There, the caption appeared: “This virus gunna have to be quicker than that to catch me.” Alli told the FA, according to Football London, he filmed the man in the video because he was coughing.The video was posted in early February and then quickly removed. Alli posted an apology video the next day, in which he acknowledged the original video “wasn’t funny” and explained that’s why he deleted it.“But, yeah, I let myself down, and the club,” he said. “I don’t want you guys to have that impression of me because it wasn’t funny, and I realized that straight away and took it down. It isn’t something that should be joked about. I’m sending all my love and all my thoughts and prayers with everyone in China.”last_img read more