Jose Mourinho says FA unfairly targeted Dele Alli after ‘racist’ video

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has hit out at the FA for suspending Dele Alli from Friday’s game with Manchester United after the England midfielder drew criticism for making a joke about coronavirus on social media.

Mourinho accused English football’s governing body of double standards for suspending Alli from one of the club’s most important games of the season for his ill-received joke, while not taking similar measures against further Premier League players for transgressions committed during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

Alli was found to have committed an “aggravated breach” of FA rules regarding references to race, color or ethnicity when he posted a video he shot to a private Snapchat group which showed him wearing a protective mask in an airport lounge before he zoomed in on an unwitting man apparently of Asian descent and then on a bottle of anti-bacterial hand wash.

Corona whatttttt, please listen with ­volume,” Alli captioned the clip, later writing: “This virus gunna have to be quicker than that to catch me.” The video was subsequently released to the public domain.

The England international was issued with a £50,000 ($63,250) fine by the FA in addition to the one-match suspension.

“I feel very, very sorry that Dele is not playing,” Mourinho said ahead of Friday’s game.

“He’s a player that works so so hard during all this period and he’s really frustrated that he cannot play the first match. I don’t think he deserves a one-match ban compared with wrong behaviors at much bigger dimensions that happened during this period without any consequences.”

Alli issued an apology for the incident after it became public, saying, “In response to the FA decision, I would like to apologize again for any offense caused by my behavior.

“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,” he added.