Dele Alli will miss Tottenham’s Premier League meeting with Manchester United after being handed a one-match ban by the Football Association.
Spurs star Alli had been hit with an FA misconduct charge following a social media post apparently joking about the deadly coronavirus back in February.
The England international posted a video on Snapchat which appeared to mock an Asian man.
An FA Commission has found that Alli’s post was not racially motivated, but rather a “poorly judged attempt” at what the Tottenham midfielder then believed to be a “humorous joke”.
As such, the Spurs star has also been given a one-match ban and fined £50,000.
He must also undertake a face-to-face education course following a breach of FA Rule E3.
Alli issued a statement soon after news of the punishment was confirmed and said: “In response to the FA decision, I would like to apologise again for any offence caused by my actions on 6th February.
“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 video was filmed in the departure lounge at Heathrow Airport while he and three friends waited to catch a flight to Dubai during the winter break.
In the video posted by Alli he wore a face mask in an airport lounge, before moving the camera to show a man of Asian appearance, and then zooming in on a bottle of antiseptic hand wash.
Alli removed the post within minutes having shared it with 160 ‘friends and colleagues’ on Snapchat and three ‘very close friends’ on WhatsApp.
However, the video was copied and forwarded on by an unidentified snapchat recipient.
Spurs ace Alli issued two public apologies – one on Chinese media platform Weibo – and stressed that it was a private post on Snapchat which only his friends could see but someone had leaked to the public.
Alli will now miss Spurs clash with Manchester United next Friday, their first match of the Premier League restart.
After removing the video Alli declared in his apology: “It wasn’t funny and I realised that immediately and took it down. I let myself down and the club.
“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.”
In summing up, the FA commission declared: “It is clear from all the evidence the Commission heard, and accepted, that The FA were right to observe that it was not their case that Dele Alli was a racist.
“The Commission concluded that the video created at Heathrow airport on the 6th February was a very poorly judged attempt at what the player then regarded as a humorous joke.
“The measure of that extremely poor judgement was evidenced by the fact that the player himself reflected promptly on the content and sought to delete it with some haste.
“The Commission concluded that the misconduct was not premeditated, and that the Player had not set out to be insulting or to create a racial stereotype.
“The Commission agreed with the FA in their assessment that the actions of the Player were ‘without sufficient thought’ and a ‘misguided attempt at humour’”.
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