The youngster, posted a couple of Instagram stories where he was insulting China and his people in Portuguese: he first published shot of himself along with the added caption ‘Porra China,’ which roughly translates from Portuguese as the equivalent of ‘F*** China’.
Then he uploaded a snap he had taken of a sleeping Chinese security guard, captioning the image: ‘Acorda China Vacilao,’ – again roughly translated to read along the lines of ‘Wake up China idiot.’
The club immediately an official statement on their website and social media channels in which they state the player has been ‘been strongly reprimanded and disciplined.’
The statement read:
“On July 22nd, Chelsea Football Club experienced the warmth and friendliness of Chinese fans at the National Stadium. However, we were surprised and disappointed that one day prior to the match, one of our young players, Kenedy, posted messages on his social media account that caused great offence and hurt the feelings of the people of China,’ the statement opened.
“Unfortunately, even though he quickly deleted the messages and apologised, and the club also apologised via our Chinese social media channels, the damage had already been done. Chelsea Football Club once again solemnly and sincerely apologises.”
“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.”
“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.”
“The match was a great cultural exchange event between China and Britain and the club is extremely grateful to China for its hospitality, which has brought us closer together in friendship. We very much hope to build on our strong relationship with our Chinese fans and friends, joining hands firmly with China in future for further cooperation.”
“We offer this apology with utmost sincerity. We have listened carefully to the criticism and will use the lessons learnt over the last two days to improve our processes in future.”
This case could cause a ban from China, where laws are very strict, for Chelsea. Kenedy was widely booed for his actions during the friendly game against Arsenal last Saturday in Beijing.
The player himself posted an apologise on his Instagram account, but it was too late. His post read:
“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. 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.”
Today Chelsea issued a bilingual statement which read: “Chelsea FC can confirm that Kenedy has returned to the UK and will play no further part in the club’s pre-season tour of Asia.”