Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho doesn’t think banning his midfielder Dele Alli for his antics on Instagram is needed, despite causing a stir by joking about the coronavirus.
The England international found himself in hot water after filming an Asian man at an airport and then turning the camera to a bottle of hand sanitiser with two controversial captions.
“Corona whattt [sic], please listen with volume,” one read.
While the second was: ”This virus gunna have to be quicker than that to catch me.”
Alli has publicly apologised since the incident, but could face punishment from the FA for joking about a virus which has now killed over 1,380 people mainly in China.
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However, Mourinho has come out and defended his man again, insisting he has never shown any prior forms of racism, as shown by his friendship with team-mate Son Heung-min.
“I feel that [a ban] would be unnecessary, but in relation to these decisions, I am nobody,” Mourinho said during a press conference.
“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.
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“He learned the lesson immediately with the embarrassment. I don’t feel we need more than that.”
Earlier this week, Mourinho issued his wholehearted support to Alli, revealing he had spoken with the player and backing him to get past the issue.
“It was not his intention to offend,” Mourinho said. “He apologised immediately, regretted and recognised it was a young guy mistake, a young generation mistake and he apologised,” Mourinho said.
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“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 apologise I think is also remarkable, because sometimes these young people make mistakes and don't realise – 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.
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“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 apologise, so for me it's end of 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 apologise.”
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