Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho feels midfielder Dele Alli doesn't deserve the one-match ban imposed on him by the Football Association (FA) disciplinary committee for his controversial coronavirus post on social media.
Apart from the one-match ban that will see him miss Spurs' first match of the revamped calendar against Manchester United, the 24-year-old was also fined 50,000 pounds and he was also directed to undertake FA's educational course.
"I feel very, very sorry that he's not playing. He's a player that works so hard during all this period and he's really frustrated that he cannot play the first match," Mourinho said during a news conference held via Zoom as shared on the club's official website.
According to the Daily Mail, Alli had posted a video showing a man of Asian descent with the caption: "corona whatttttt, please listen with volume."
The video was immediately deleted but not before it was noticed by social media users and eventually the English football officials.
"I don't want to say much more than I don't think he deserves a one-match ban compared with wrong behaviours at much bigger dimensions that happened during this period without any consequences," Mourinho added.
Mourinho also revealed that club captain Harry Kane is ready to start against the Red Devils following a six-month-long absence.
Along with Kane, Son Heung-min and Moussa Sissoko were ruled out by injuries when the English Premier League has suspended three months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"The ones that had surgeries, Kane, Son and Sissoko have all recovered and are ready to play," the Portuguese said.
"Kane is working extremely well, I can tell you no problem he is going to start the game. Does he have 90 minutes, 80, 70, 60? I don't know. Only the game will tell us that."
Just four points differentiate the two teams in the top half of the table as Manchester United currently occupy the fifth spot in league with 45 points while Spurs remain eighth with 41 points.