Dele Alli has offered an apology for posting a video on Snapchat in which he joked about the coronavirus outbreak and appeared to mock an Asian man.
The England and Tottenham midfielder quickly deleted his video on Saturday, and on Sunday expressed his remorse via a video on Chinese social media platform Weibo.
“Hi guys, it’s Dele; I just wanted to apologise on my behalf for the video I posted on Snapchat yesterday,” the 23-year-old said.
“It wasn’t funny and I realised that immediately and took it down. I let myself down and the club.
“I don’t want you to have that impression of me because it wasn’t funny and I realised that straight away and took it down.
“It isn’t something that should be joked about. I’m sending all my love and all my thoughts and prayers to everyone in China.”
Tottenham are currently on their Premier League winter break, with their next fixture a trip to Aston Villa on Sunday, February 16.
“I said when he went there it would give them a lift and there would be a charm offensive – and he was all smiles for a while,” Merson wrote in the Daily Star.
“But everyone knew it wouldn’t last, didn’t they? He’s gone back to being Grumpy Mourinho again. And I don’t see how he’s improved them at all. Not one bit.
“He looks like he’s thinking: ‘What have I done coming here?’ You don’t see him high-fiving ball boys now do you?”
Merson added: “Mourinho is only there to get them into the top four. I can’t see Daniel Levy wanting to win the FA Cup but not get back into the Champions League.
“But it’s not really working, is it? Chelsea are in the driving seat to finish fourth and I can’t see Spurs catching them right now.
“They are a very lucky football team at the moment because they’ve been ripped to shreds in their last two matches but still managed to win.”