English Premier League football player Dele Alli has found himself in potential trouble for a video he posted to social media that appeared to make light of the novel coronavirus (nCoV).
The video, which was posted to his Snapchat account, appeared to show Alli making fun of an Asian man while referencing the current situation surrounding the nCoV outbreak.
With the caption "Corona whatttttt, please listen with volume", Alli can be seen in a face mask and a hat before he zooms in on the unsuspecting Asian man.
The video then cuts to a bottle of hand sanitiser, displaying the caption: "This virus gunna (sic) have to be quicker than that to catch me".
Alli is believed to have been in Dubai, UAE on holiday during the Premier League's winter break according to The Guardian.
"It wasn't funny"
The video was then deleted after several complaints were made, with Alli posting a video apology on Chinese social media platform Weibo.
"Just wanted to apologise on my behalf for the video I posted on Snapchat yesterday," he said.
"It wasn't funny. I realised that immediately and took it down. I let myself down and the club."
Alli also said that he was "sending all my love and thoughts and prayers for everyone in China."
Investigation and possible ban
However, that apology was not enough for the Football Association (FA), England's governing body of the sport.
The Guardian reports that they have written to Alli requesting his observations about the incident.
This is regarded as the first step of an investigation into whether Alli had breached the FA’s rule E3(1), which prohibits players from creating social media posts considered “improper” or which bring the game into disrepute.
His actions are also likely to be examined under rule E3(2) under which references to “ethnic origin; colour; race; nationality; faith; gender; sexual orientation or disability” can be considered an “aggravating factor”, should a post be found to have broken the rules.
Possible playing ban
If the 23-year-old England international player is found guilty, he could be slapped with a playing ban and a fine, as was Manchester City player Bernardo Silva.
In September last year, Silva had posted a tweet which appeared to compare his teammate Benjamin Mendy to a caricature of a black character found on the packaging of a Spanish confectionary brand.
He was eventually banned from playing for one match, fined £50,000 (S$89,600.50), and asked to attend an awareness course.
Image from Dele Alli's Facebook page and Newzit Youtube Channel