Chelsea star Kenedy sent home over China slurs

AFP
Chelsea has sent Brazilian defender Kenedy home from its preseason Asian tour after he made offensive comments about China on social media.
AFP
AFP

Chelsea players participate in a training session in Singapore on July 24, 2017, ahead of their International Champions Cup match against Bayern Munich on July 25.

Kenedy has been sent home from Chelsea's preseason tour of Asia as punishment for his offensive social media posts about China, according to reports on Tuesday.

Brazilian defender Kenedy was axed from Chelsea's high-profile tour as the English Premier League champion fought to avoid further embarrassment after the social media slurs sparked a furious response in China.

The 21-year-old put two videos on Instagram, one with a caption which translated as "F**k you China" and another of a security guard asleep which was tagged: "Wake up China. You idiot."

Kenedy posted the messages ahead of a friendly against Arsenal in Beijing last Saturday and was jeered by the crowd during Chelsea's 3-0 win.

Chelsea had already issued an apology after admitting Kenedy's actions had caused "great offense and hurt the feelings of the people of China".

Kenedy, signed from Fluminense for 6 million pounds (US$7.8 million) in 2015, flew with Chelsea to Singapore over the weekend and trained with the team on Sunday and Monday.

But, with Kenedy accused by Chinese media of humiliating their country, reports claimed the Blues were forced to remove the player from their preseason preparations as they look to salvage the club's reputation and maintain their position in the lucrative Asian market.

Antonio Conte's side was facing Bayern Munich in a friendly — as part of the International Champions Cup — on Tuesday, then take on Inter Milan on Saturday, and the Blues boss is certain to face a barrage of questions about Kenedy's behavior and his reported exile.

Chinese fans had already blasted Kenedy's racist jibes, leading to an apology from the player who quickly deleted the posts.

"I would like to apologize to the people of China for the offense I have caused. It was never my intention to insult or offend anyone at all and I now realize that my comments were totally inappropriate," Kenedy wrote.

"I wish to state that I have tremendous respect and admiration for the Chinese people and their country.

"I would also like to apologize to my club Chelsea and all my companions who I have let down by my posts. I fully understand the responsibility of representing my club and it was never my intention to cause this embarrassment nor disrespect."

Kenedy's outbursts could leave his future at Stamford Bridge in jeopardy.

The full-back was sent on a season-long loan to Watford last term, but made just one substitute appearance before the spell was cut short.

He went on to make two appearances for Chelsea after it wrapped up the EPL title.


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