LONDON, United Kingdom, Jul 25 – Kenedy has been sent home from Chelsea’s pre-season tour of Asia as punishment for his offensive social media posts about China, team boss Antonio Conte said Tuesday.
The Brazilian defender was axed from Chelsea’s tour as the Premier League champions fought to avoid further embarrassment after the social media slurs sparked a furious response in China, a major market for European teams.
The 21-year-old put two videos on Instagram, one of which contained a profanity and another of a security guard asleep and the caption: “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 saying that Kenedy’s actions 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, the Blues removed him from their pre-season preparations.
“The player was sorry about this situation,” Conte said after Chelsea were beaten 3-2 by Bayern Munich in a friendly Tuesday.
“We made this decision about the player, the player must know his mistake. He’s sorry for what happened and now he must go home.”
Kenedy has also apologised and deleted the posts, but his future with Chelsea now looks in grave doubt.
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.
Chelsea next face Inter Milan, in Singapore, on Saturday in another high-profile friendly.