Dele Alli’s witless Snapchat video was not funny. We can all agree on that. Whether it was racist or not is for someone else to decide. The English Football Association is happy to be that particular judge and jury, with the suits writing to the England international midfielder for his “observations” after his video created a backlash on social media. Alli, who was on the way to Dubai for a short holiday during the English Premier League’s winter break, should know what to expect. Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva came a cropper earlier in the season for a similar social media faux pas. BREAKING: Manchester City's Bernardo Silva has been banned for one game for sending a racially offensive tweet to team-mate Benjamin Mendy pic.twitter.com/BzZXzpj2lc — B/R Football (@brfootball) November 13, 2019 The Portugal star’s transgression was to post a picture of the mascot for the Spanish confectionery firm Conguitos, a cartoon of a black child, to his black teammate Benjamin Mendy. The birthday joke did not go down so well with everyone who saw it on Twitter. Silva was found guilty of an “aggravated breach” of the FA’s social media guidelines as it appeared to reference Mendy’s race. Arsenal’s Ozil reaction puts club in a game it can’t win He was hit with a US$64,900 fine and banned for a game. There is your precedent. Alli should expect similar if not worse. Let’s face it, the FA wants to keep China on side and this has not gone down well with football fans there. The Premier League has long courted the Chinese market, with several English clubs touring the country in preseason last summer. Alli was there alongside his Spurs teammates to play Manchester United in Shanghai. Manchester City were also there and felt the wrath of state media for seemingly upsetting Chinese fans and journalists. They are far from the first team to feel the wrath of an upset China. Chelsea had to go into full-scale damage limitation mode when they toured the country in 2017 thanks to Brazilian wing back Kenedy. The player posted two videos to Instagram, which were quickly deleted. One, captioned in Portuguese “porra China – using a slang term that can be translated in a few ways, the kindest of which might be “Screw China”. It warranted a Lusophone linguistic expert when Kenedy was later up before the FA. NBA, Ozil and Sun Yang critics show China always wins The caption for another video of a sleeping security guard translated to “Wake up, China, you idiot.” Chinese media and the country’s football fans jumped in with both feet. At the time, sources confirmed to football website Goal that the government ordered Chinese media to “withdraw all related stories about Chelsea from their dual homepages and news apps”. Another source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs even suggested that Chelsea might be banned in the country. Kenedy apologised on Instagram. “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 then apologised again: “I would like to apologise to the people of China for the offence I have caused. It was never my intention to insult or offend anyone at all and I now realise that my comments were totally inappropriate. European football missing an open goal with Wuhan game “I wish to state that I have tremendous respect and admiration for the Chinese people and their country. I would also like to apologise to my club Chelsea … who I have let down by my posts.” Chelsea went further, first apologising on Chinese social media and then issuing another apology. “Kenedy’s actions were a mistake that he will learn greatly from,” read their statement. “His behaviour does not represent the entire team and does not align with the club’s high expectations and strict requirements of its young players. He has been strongly reprimanded and disciplined. “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 apologise for the hurt caused to our Chinese fans as well as to the Chinese people. We offer this apology with utmost sincerity. We have listened carefully to the criticism and will use the lessons learnt over the last two days to improve our processes in future.” That seemed to do the trick. While Kenedy has not played a Premier League game for Chelsea since, instead being sent out on a series of loans, the club’s popularity in China has only risen. It is interesting that Spurs have remained silent. Their north London rivals Arsenal were swift to say sorry when midfielder Mesut Ozil posted about the treatment of Muslim Uygurs in China’s Xinjiang region. Xenophobia spreads quicker than virus in football world That was another issue that the foreign affairs ministry weighed in on, just as it did with the furore over Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey’s tweet supporting the Hong Kong protests that caused a crisis for the NBA in China. Ozil and the Houston Rockets have effectively been cancelled by China. Neither appears on the Chinese-language internet any more, with the NBA team nicknamed “Team 404” because of the error code, while Ozil has been cut out of video games and his name is left out of match commentary. Does a similar fate await Spurs and Alli?