Chelsea star Kenedy sent home over China slurs

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

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 yes­ter­day. 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 win. Chelsea had al­ready is­sued an apol­ogy af­ter ad­mit­ting Kenedy’s ac­tions had caused “great of­fence and hurt the feel­ings of the peo­ple of China”. Kenedy, signed from Flu­mi­nense for £6 mil­lion ($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 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 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 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 wrote. “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.

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