Antonio Conte has confirmed reports that Kenedy has been sent home from Chelsea's pre-season tour of the Far East following his controversial and inappropriate social media behaviour that caused uproar in China.

Several outlets claimed on Tuesday morning (25 July) that the Brazilian winger had been fined and ordered back to the United Kingdom after producing two offensive Instagram posts that attracted strong criticism and saw him booed during a 3-0 win over Premier League rivals Arsenal at Beijing's Bird's Nest Stadium.

Kenedy quickly deleted the messages and said sorry, while Chelsea published an official statement in both English and Chinese in which they offered their "solemn" and "sincere" apologies.

They also insisted that his actions were a mistake and did not "represent the entire team" or "align with the club's high expectations and strict requirements of its young players".

Chelsea also claimed that the 21-year-old had been "strongly reprimanded and disciplined".

A scathing editorial from The People's Daily, the official newspaper of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, labelled Kenedy's comments as absurd, impolite and uneducated and said they had created an incident that humiliated China and simply could not be tolerated by many fans.

"China does not welcome a player like this, nor does China welcome a team like this," they wrote.

Conte initially said that Kenedy understood his error and was sorry. Speaking again about the regrettable episode that has embarrassed the club during a press conference that followed Chelsea's 3-2 International Champions Cup defeat to Bayern Munich in Singapore on Tuesday, the manager said: "Unfortunately this situation happened.

"It is a pity because the player was sorry about the situation. It's a difficult situation also for the club and for this reason we make this decision about the player. The player understood his mistake, he's sorry for what happened and now he must go home."

Kenedy's future at Chelsea is now likely to be called into question. The Brazilian Under-20 international, who arrived at Stamford Bridge from Fluminese in 2015 and has three years remaining on his current contract, made just one appearance during a miserable loan stint with Watford last term before being recalled in January.

Kenedy
Kenedy has been sent home from Chelsea's pre-season tour of the the Far East Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images for ICC