Manchester United forward Edinson Cavani banned for three matches
Manchester United forward Edinson Cavani has been handed a three-match ban besides being fined £100,000 after he decided not to contest a charge related to a post on Instagram. The social media post contained a Spanish phrase that is deemed offensive in some contexts. The 33-year-old pleaded guilty to a Football Association charge of using insulting and/or improper words. Here are further details.
Cavani, who helped United win their Premier League tie against Southampton on November 29, reposted a message to a friend. Cavani wrote in Spanish, "gracias, negrito" -- a term that can be interpreted as racist in the UK. Although the word is widely used as a term of endearment in South America and the Caribbean, it is regarded in England as carrying racial connotations.
When the meaning that could be associated with the word was pointed out, the Uruguayan deleted the post and apologized. "It was intended as an affectionate greeting to a friend, thanking him for his congratulations after the game," Cavani had said. "The last thing I wanted to do was cause offense to anyone," he added. Cavani said he is opposed to racism.
Along with the ban and fine, Cavani needs to complete a "face-to-face" education programme. His ban will begin immediately, ruling him out of the club's Premier League game with Aston Villa later tonight. The veteran forward is also set to miss the EFL Cup semi-final against Manchester City on January 6 and a third-round FA Cup tie with Watford on January 9.
"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 color and/or race and/or ethnic origin," a statement issued by FA read.
In response to the ruling, a Manchester United statement said: "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."
Cavani has made nine appearances for United in the Premier League 2020-21 season, scoring three goals and making two assists. Overall, he has scored four goals in 14 matches across competitions for the Red Devils.