'I despise racism': EPL player banned for insensitive virus tweet

Tottenham's Dele Alli (R) has been handed a one-match ban. Pic: Getty

The Football Association has handed out a one-match ban to Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli over a social media post mocking coronavirus.

Before the pandemic took hold, Alli posted a video in early February on Snapchat, making fun of an Asian man at an airport, before promptly deleting the post.

'UNITY IS STRENGTH': Liverpool's powerful George Floyd tribute

‘BITTERSWEET’: Footballer’s powerful George Floyd tribute

Alli, 24, put up the video of himself at an airport wearing a mask and apparently mocking a man of Asian appearance. He later apologised for the prank.

Charged on February 26 with misconduct, his case has finally been heard, with the FA handing out a one-game suspension and a STG50,000 ($A91,500) fine.

Alli will miss Tottenham's first match back, the June 19 visit of Champions League qualification rivals Manchester United.

"Dele Alli has been suspended for one match with immediate effect, fined STG50,000 and must undertake a face-to-face education course following a breach of FA Rule E3," the FA said in a statement.

"The Tottenham Hotspur FC player denied that a social media post breached FA Rule E3(1), as it was insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute, and constituted an "Aggravated Breach", which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as it included a reference, whether express or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin and/or nationality.

"However, it was subsequently found proven by an independent Regulatory Commission."

Dele Alli will miss Spurs' first game back against Manchester United. Pic: Getty

Spurs star denies he is a racist

Alli said he was thankful the FA deemed his video was not the result of him being racist.

"In response to the FA decision, I would like to apologise again for any offence caused by my behaviour," he said on the club's website.

"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."

Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva received a similar punishment in 2019 over a tweet to teammate Benjamin Mendy.

Tottenham are still waiting on the outcome of Eric Dier's misconduct charge after he had climbed into the stands in March to confront a Spurs supporter after the FA Cup exit to Norwich.