LONDON: Dele Alli has apologised for posting a social media video which has prompted a Football Association (FA) probe after the Tottenham Hotspur star appeared to joke about the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Alli’s Snapchat video showed him wearing a face mask in an airport departure lounge with the message ‘Corona whattt, please listen with volume’.
The 23-year-old moved the camera towards an Asian man before showing a bottle of antiseptic hand wash captioned ‘This virus gunna have to be quicker than that to catch me’.
The video, apparently taken while Alli was on holiday during the Premier League’s current winter break, was subsequently deleted after several complaints were made.
With the coronavirus having claimed the lives of over 1,000 people in mainland China, the FA are reported to have written to Alli to ask him to explain his post.
The England midfielder could face a ban or fine and he tried to limit the damage by apologising in a video on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.
“Hi guys, it’s Dele; I just wanted to apologise on my behalf for the video I posted on Snapchat yesterday,” he said.
“It wasn’t funny and I realised that immediately and took it down. I let myself down and the club.
“I don’t want you to have that impression of me because it wasn’t funny and I realised 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 to everyone in China.”
The FA’s guidelines around media comments and social media posts remind participants that it will consider charges under Rule E3 if it is felt that someone has acted in an improper manner or brings the game into disrepute.
Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva was banned for one game and fined £50,000 earlier this season after what was deemed an inappropriate tweet to team-mate Benjamin Mendy. - AFP