The English Football Association has charged Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli with misconduct for posting a video on social media mocking the coronavirus outbreak which has killed over 2,000 persons in China.
Alli has been given up to March 5 to appeal the charge and if he is found guilty, the midfielder will be fined and banned as well as undergo a mandatory education course. Meanwhile, there are no set sanctions for the improper use of social media.
FutballNews understands that during Spurs’ winter-break, the English midfielder posted a Snapchat video on his official account mocking an Asian man and the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The video showed him wearing a facemask in an airport departure lounge and mocking victims of the deadly virus. He captioned the video: “Corona whattt [sic], please listen with volume”.
Moments later, Alli zoomed the camera towards an Asian man thereby mocking him before focusing his camera on a bottle of antiseptic hand wash. The Spurs midfielder then captioned the second video as “This virus gunna have to be quicker than that to catch me”.
After a series of backlash, the Spurs player quickly deleted it and issued two public apologies, including in a video posted to Chinese social media platform Weibo. “It wasn’t funny. I realized that immediately and took it down. I let myself down and the club,” he said.
Reacting to the video, a leading anti-discrimination campaigner condemned Alli for the video and accused him of “harmful and dangerous racism”.
After its investigations, the FA wrote Ali that his post breached Rule E3(1), as it was “insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute”.
The video was also deemed an “Aggravated Breach” under Rule E3(2), as it included a reference, whether express or implied, to race and/or color and/or ethnic origin and/or nationality.
Recall that the FA banned Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva for one match and fined £50,000 after an FA commission found he had “unquestionably” brought the game into disrepute with a tweet about teammate Benjamin Mendy.
This news medium reports that Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has said that Dele Alli does not deserve to be punished over his joke about the coronavirus outbreak. The Portuguese manager noted that he spoke with the midfielder on the matter and it was an “easy conversation”.
Mourinho said that he was impressed that Ali regretted the sad incident, dismissing claims that Alli deserves the same punishment Silva received for his tweet to Mendy.
Mourinho said: “I feel that would be unnecessary, but I am nobody,” he said. “In relation to these decisions, I am nobody.
“I am somebody in relation to Dele’s process of, let’s say, professional education and I felt it so, so easy because of the way he reacted.
“So I think it is unnecessary because the player understands the naivety of the situation, the player is a good guy, the player even in the dressing room has a big Asian friend that he loves.
“It was not his intention to offend, he apologized immediately, regretted and recognized it was a young guy mistake, a young generation mistake and he apologized.”
“So, my conversation [with Alli] was easy, as it was not one of a contradiction of ideas. It was not him not understanding why I was unhappy, so it was so simple.
“What can I say? He regrets and, for me, that’s the best feeling he can show, and to have the humility to apologize I think is also remarkable because sometimes these young people make mistakes and don’t realize – so this conversation was so easy.
“I have a son and daughter basically at the same age as Dele and many of my players – I know what social media is for this generation.
“But when you are a public person like footballers are, they have to know and have to be very careful.
“I repeat, Dele is a great guy. The last thing Dele is is anything connected with racism or disrespect, not at all, but these are current mistakes that some people sometimes make. But again, the good thing for me is regret and apologize, so for me, it’s end of the story.
“I’m not the FA, I’m just his manager, his friend. I repeat, at the same age I have two great kids in my house, and I have to act as an educator and I think the best way to do it is immediately his reaction – regret and apologized.”