ENGLISH champions Chelsea look in great shape on the field in China – but their Brazilian player Kenedy has caused them huge embarrassment off it.
The Premier League club felt compelled to apologise to their Chinese fans on Sunday following offensive comments made on social media by the 21-year-old.
The midfielder, a fringe player at Stamford Bridge since joining in July 2015, made the remarks on his Instagram page before Chelsea’s 3-0 pre-season friendly win against Arsenal in Beijing.
One of the posts was a picture of a security guard asleep which was captioned: “Wake up China. You idiot.” Another carried an expletive in Portuguese. He later deleted the posts.
Chelsea impressed in the 3-0 victory over London rivals Arsenal at the Bird’s Nest stadium, but substitute Kenedy’s social media faux pas saw him jeered by sections of the crowd.
The furore was something of a public relations disaster for Chelsea, who said in a statement on their website: “Kenedy’s actions were a mistake that he will learn greatly from.
“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.
Chelsea Football Club apology to Chinese people for player’s offensive social media posts https://t.co/lGanPiaJ6o
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 23, 2017
“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.”
After Chelsea’s comfortable victory, in which Michy Batshuayi scored twice and Willian once, Kenedy addressed the issue himself.
Writing on social media, he said: “Hello my friends, just wanna say sorry if someone was sad because I used (that) expression… was no racism, just an expression.” – Reuters.