Manchester United forward Edinson Cavani has been handed a three-match ban by the Football Association following an Instagram post from the player which can be construed as racist. Cavani will miss the Premier League matches against Aston Villa and Manchester City, as well as the FA Cup third round clash versus Watford. The Uruguayan used the term “negrito” when responding to a message from a friend on Instagram following the 3-2 win at Southampton on November 29.
Cavani was not aware that the Spanish phrase could be considered offensive in some contexts.
The FA released a statement on Thursday afternoon stating that the former Paris Saint-Germain star had also been fined £100,000 and will complete “face-to-face education” after pleading guilty to the charge.
The statement reads: “Edinson Cavani has been suspended for three games, fined £100,000 and must complete face-to-face education after admitting a charge for a breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to a social media post on Sunday 29 November 2020.
“A comment posted on the Manchester United FC striker’s Instagram page was insulting, abusive, improper and brought the game into disrepute contrary to FA Rule E3.1. The post also constitutes an “aggravated breach”, which is defined in FA Rule E3.2, as it included reference, whether express or implied, to colour and/or race and/or ethnic origin.
“Despite his honest belief that he was simply sending an affectionate thank-you in response to a congratulatory message from a close friend, he chose not to contest the charge, out of respect for, and solidarity with, the FA and the fight against racism in football.
“While it is clear that context and intent are key factors, we note that the independent Regulatory Commission was required to impose a minimum three-game suspension.
“The club trusts that the independent Regulatory Commission will make it clear in its written reasons that Edinson Cavani is not a racist, nor was there any racist intent in relation to his post.”