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Spurs soccer star Dele Alli suspended for COVID-19 Snapchat post

Spurs soccer star Dele Alli suspended for COVID-19 Snapchat post

Tottenham Hotspur star Dele Alli has been suspended for one game after he appeared to mock an Asian man and the coronavirus pandemic in a Snapchat post.

Alli posted the video on Feb. 6. The post featured Alli as he filmed himself at Heathrow Airport in London. He zoomed his camera in on the Asian man and referenced the virus in the caption.

He also wrote: “This virus gonna have to be quicker than that to catch me.”

Alli deleted the post seven hours after he filmed it. He apologized for the video the day after he posted it. He apologized again Thursday after the Football Association announced his one-game ban. Alli was also fined about $63,000.

England’s Football Association governs the Premier League.

“The Tottenham Hotspur FC player denied that a social media post breached [the rules] … However, it was subsequently found proven by an independent regulatory commission,” the Football Association said.

A hearing for Alli took place Monday on a video conference after the initial hearing was delayed because of the pandemic. Alli said that the man he filmed in the video was coughing, which he said was the reason he filmed him. The man did not appear to cough in the footage.

The Snapchat video was accessible to 160 people. Alli also posted it on a WhatsApp group. One of the viewers copied the video and it was forwarded to a national newspaper before it was published online.

“It was not the FA’s case that Dele Alli was a racist,” the Football Association said. “The FA’s case was that ‘without sufficient thought,’ the player shared a video that depicted an ‘unacceptable racist stereotype’ in a misguided attempt at humor.”

The Premier League has been suspended since March. Alli, 24, also was involved in a home robbery days after the league stopped play due to the pandemic. He sustained facial injuries during the incident.

RB Leipzig beat Spurs 3-0 in their last game, a Champions League matchup on March 10 in Leipzig, Germany. The second-leg loss knocked Spurs out of the Champions League.

Spurs battle Manchester United in their first game of the resumed Premier League season at 3:15 p.m. EDT at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

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