Thu 31 December 2020:
The Football Association has suspended Manchester United’s Edinson Cavani for three games and fined the Uruguay striker £100,000 for his use of the word “negrito” in a social media post.
The FA said the comment was “insulting, abusive, improper and brought the game into disrepute” and also was an “aggravated breach” because it “included reference, whether express or implied, to colour and/or race and/or ethnic origin”.
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The 33-year-old had sent the Instagram message to a friend after coming off the bench and scoring twice in a 3-2 victory at Southampton in late November and will now miss three games at Old Trafford.
After sitting out Friday’s Premier League match against Aston Villa, Cavani will also miss Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final with Manchester City and Watford’s visit for next Saturday’s FA Cup tie.
“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,” United said in a statement.
“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.”
The former Paris Saint-Germain player, who joined United as a free agent in October, has already issued an apology.
“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,” United 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.”
In November Cavani swiftly issued an apology for his use of his phrase “Gracias negrito” – Spanish for “thanks little black person”.
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