Chelsea’s Brazilian winger Kenedy, was sent home from the club’s tour of Asia on Tuesday, after posting inappropriate comments on social media.
Kenedy's disrespect for tournament hosts China
The winger angered Chinese fans on Friday after posting a photograph mocking a sleeping security guard which he tagged: “Wake up China. You idiot,” along with a video with the offensive Portuguese word “porra” used against China.
In a reaction to the remarks, Chinese fans accused Kenedy of xenophobia and racism. In the aftermath of the comments, hurriedly, the Brazilian deleted the posts and published an apology. “Hello my friends, just wanna say sorry if someone was sad because I used the expression “porra”, was no racism, just an expression … big hug,” he wrote.
Kenedy was constantly booed throughout Chelsea’s match against Arsenal in Beijing on Saturday, which the Blues won 3-0.
Chelsea say sorry for Kenedy slur
In a bilingual statement on their official website, Chelsea issued an apology on Sunday:
“Everyone at Chelsea Football Club has the utmost respect and admiration for China and loves our Chinese fans. It is because of this that the negative impact we have seen over the last two days has left us shocked and saddened. Once again, we sincerely apologize for the hurt caused to our Chinese fans as well as to the Chinese people”.
In the same apology, the club mentions that the 21-year-old player had been “strongly reprimanded and disciplined.”
Kenedy on the first plane back to London
On a press conference on Monday, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte mentioned that the youngster “understood that he made a mistake and is sorry”.
However, on Tuesday, the winger was sent back to London and missed the team’s penultimate International Champions Cup match against Bayern Munich and will also miss Saturday’s clash with Inter Milan.
Chelsea’s decision to expel the player from the Asia tour may have come as a result of the People’s Daily editorial which criticized the youngster’s actions. “It is regrettable that he has said such nonsense. He has created an incident that has humiliated China, an incident that so many fans simply cannot tolerate. Kenedy’s absurd comments are not only impolite, but also uneducated,” the editorial read.
Chelsea lost 3-2 against Bayern in Singapore, after which Conte spoke about Kenedy’s situation, telling reporters: “It's a pity because the player was sorry about this situation”.