London [UK], June 12 (ANI): Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli will miss the first game against Manchester United following the coronavirus-enforced break after being banned by the Football Association (FA) for a video posted online mocking an Asian man for supposedly having COVID-19.
In February, England star player posted a video on Snapchat from Heathrow Airport as he waited for a flight to Dubai while wearing a face mask, seemingly suggesting an Asian man in the terminal could be infected with the virus, Goal.com reported.
The midfielder turned the camera to the man and then to a bottle of hand sanitiser, adding the caption: "The virus gunna have to be faster than that to catch me".
The FA confirmed on Thursday that Alli has been fined, banned for one match, and will have to undergo a re-education course.
"Dele Alli has been suspended for one match with immediate effect, fined 50,000 pounds and must undertake an education course following a breach of FA Rule E3," read a FA statement.
"The Tottenham Hotspur 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," it added.
The FA said they accepted that Alli had not meant to be racist, however, the nature of the video meant it was inevitable that people would find it offensive, and that Alli had picked on the man to film him because of a racial stereotype.
Alli apologised for the offence caused by his behaviour after the FA's decision.
"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," Alli said on club's official website.
"I'm grateful that the FA has confirmed that my actions were not intentionally 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 added.
Tottenham Hotspur will play against Manchester United in their first game of the Premier League return on June 20. (ANI)