Leeds [UK], Feb 15 (ANI): Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has urged the Football Association not to ban midfielder Dele Alli after he joked about coronavirus on his social media post.
"I feel that [a ban] would be unnecessary, but in relation to these decisions, I am nobody," Goal.com quoted Mourinho as saying.
"It is unnecessary because the player understands the naivety of the situation, the player is a good guy, the player even in the dressing room has a big Asian friend that he loves," he added.
The Spurs star apologised after he posted a video suggesting a man near him had the disease. The midfielder filmed the video in an airport and turned the camera to an Asian man and then to a bottle of hand sanitiser, adding the caption: "The virus gonna have to be faster than that to catch me."
"It wasn't funny and I realised that immediately and took it down," Alli said after the controversy. "I let myself down and the club," he added.
The death toll from the novel coronavirus outbreak in China has risen to 1,523, while the number of confirmed cases has reached 66,492, the country's National Health Commission announced on Saturday.
2,641 new cases of confirmed infections were reported through Friday, while 1,373 patients were released from hospitals through the day after being cured, the Health Commission said.
As many as 139 people died on Friday in Hubei province -- the epicenter of the outbreak which reported the first case of the new strain of coronavirus in December, last year. The virus has since then spread to several countries across the world, including India.
"As of 24:00 on Feb 14, the National Health Commission had received 66,492 reports of confirmed cases and 1,523 deaths in 31 provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, and in all 8,096 patients had been cured and discharged from hospital," a statement by the Health Commission read. (ANI)