Tottenham and England midfielder Dele Alli has apologised after he posted a video that mocked the coronavirus crisis on social media.
The 23-year-old was in an airport during the Premier League’s winter break and was wearing a facemask.
The camera was pointed at an Asian man in the departure lounge and then moved to a bottle of hand sanitiser with the caption: “The virus gunna have to be faster than that to catch me”.
Alli deleted the video soon after it appeared and subsequently took to Chinese social media site Weibo to apologise for the insensitive video.
“I’d like to apologise for the video I posted on Snapchat yesterday,” the former MK Dons man said.
“It wasn’t funny. I realised that immediately and took it down. I let myself down and the club.
“I don’t want you guys to have that impression of me, it wasn’t funny and I realized that straight away and took it down.
“It isn’t something that should be joked about. Sending all my love and thoughts and prayers for everyone in China.”
According to CNN over 800 people have died around the world as a result of the coronavirus and more than 37,000 have been diagnosed with the disease.
Though it started in China it has now spread to 28 countries globally, and it has affected the world of football too.
New Manchester United forward Odion Ighalo joined the Red Devils from Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua in January but has been unable to travel with his new club for a training camp in the winter break over fears of exposure to the disease.
Travel restrictions imposed by the UK government on people who have spent time in China recently mean the club are unsure whether Ighalo “would be allowed back into the country if he leaves again”, according to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Alli has enjoyed a good start to life under new Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho, having scored five times and assisted twice in the Premier League since the Portuguese took over in November following a tricky start to the season under Mauricio Pochettino.