London - Kenedy
has been sent home from Chelsea's pre-season tour of Asia as punishment
for his offensive social media posts about China, according to reports
Brazilian defender Kenedy was axed from Chelsea's high-profile tour
as the Premier League champions 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 on Saturday and was jeered by the crowd during Chelsea's 3-0
Chelsea had already issued an apology after admitting Kenedy's
actions had caused "great offence and hurt the feelings of the people of
Kenedy, signed from Fluminense for £6 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 pre-season preparations as they look to salvage the club's
reputation and maintain their position in the lucrative Asian market.
Antonio Conte's side are due to face Bayern Munich in a friendly on
Tuesday, then take on Inter Milan on Saturday, and the Blues boss is
certain to face a barrage of questions about Kenedy's behaviour and his
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 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," Kenedy
"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 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 they wrapped up the Premier League title.