Manchester United striker, Edinson Cavani has been handed a three-match ban and fined £100,000 over an ‘aggravated breach’ of Football Association rules.
The FA charged the Uruguay international, 33, with a misconduct charge after he ‘brought the game into disrepute’ over an Instagram post following United’s 3-2 victory at Southampton last month.
A fan posted ‘Asi te queiro Matador’ in Spanish, which translates to: “I love you, Matador!” Cavani then replied on his Instagram story: “Gracias Negrito!”, a Spanish term which translates as ‘black’.
Cavani had until January 4 to respond to the charge by FA but decided not to contest the charge which carries a minimum three-match ban.
He will now miss the Premier League game against Aston Villa, EFL Cup semi-final against Manchester City and FA Cup clash with Watford – leaving him free to return to action at Liverpool on January 17.
The statement issued by the FA read: ‘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.
‘An independent Regulatory Commission was appointed to decide the sanction and its written reasons will be published in due course.’
A statement from United read: ‘As he has stated, Edinson Cavani wasn’t aware that his words could have been misconstrued and he sincerely apologised for the post and to anyone who was offended.
‘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.’