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Dele could miss Spurs’ match vs. United as coronavirus video appeal heard this week

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Tottenham Hotspur Training Session Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

As Tottenham Hotspur prepare to play their first match since March, a huge home tie against Manchester United, they may have to do so without one of their best players. The Evening Standard is reporting that Dele’s appeal of the charges handed to him after a racist coronavirus video he made leaked to the public will be heard Wednesday or Thursday, with the ruling potentially suspending him for Friday’s match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

You may recall that back in February, as the coronavirus was just starting to emerge and spread outside of China, Dele posted what most considered to be a racist video in a private group Snapchat to his friends that implied that a random person of Asian descent in an airport lobby might have the virus. Although Dele did not leak the video himself — one of his friends apparently did — the FA charged him with an “Aggravated breach of Rule E3(2).”

Dele immediately apologized for the video when it leaked and appealed the ruling, saying that, while in bad taste, the video was meant for private consumption and was never intended for the public. We’ll find out what the FA thinks of that argument this week.

I’ve always been of the mind that, regardless of the circumstances, Dele probably deserves a ban for this video, as even if it was a joke among friends, letting him skate for an inappropriate video would send the wrong message. He certainly should receive a hefty fine. I haven’t changed my mind since then, though not having Dele available for a massive match against a rival for top five will be a blow.

I do, however, believe Dele when he says that he was just making a dumb joke to friends and that he’s profoundly sorry. I’m sure he’s even more sorry now that the world has ground to a halt for a couple of months due to this same virus. Hopefully he’s learned from this and it’ll never happen again.