Dele Alli has been hit with a one-game ban by the Football Association for his controversial social media post earlier this year in which he appeared to mock an Asian man over the coronavirus.
The Tottenham star, 24, has been at the centre of an FA investigation and will now miss his team’s Project Restart opener against Manchester United a week on Friday after disciplinary chiefs slapped the midfielder with a one-match suspension and £50,000 fine.
He will also be required to undertake an FA educational course.
Alli posted a video showing a man of Asian descent with the caption: “Corona whatttttt, please listen with volume.”
In the next part of the Snapchat story, the midfielder wears a mask while appearing to feign concern.
He then shows a bottle of hand wash, accompanied by the caption: “This virus gunna have to be quicker than that to catch me.”
The England midfielder deleted the video within minutes of posting it and apologised twice, nevertheless the FA have deemed the footage to have racial connotations.
Alli 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 FA commission wrote: “The creation and distribution of the offending material was more the product of spontaneous ill-judged stupidity rather than any sense of malicious intent.”
In November, Manchester City star Bernardo Silva was banned for one game and fined £50,000 for a social media post in which he compared teammate Benjamin Mendy to the character on a packet of Conguitos – a chocolate brand available in Spain and Portugal.
An FA commission accepted Silva did not intend to be “racist” against Mendy, but still felt compelled to dish out the suspension given the connotations.
Sportsmail revealed in February that Alli would tell disciplinary chiefs the video was not racist but a misjudged joke.