Edinson Cavani of Manchester United has been slammed with a three-match ban and fined £100,000 over an Instagram post he shared in November 2020.
On November 29, Manchester United played a league game against Southampton and United won 3-2. After the match in which Edinson Cavani scored two goals, the 33-year-old Uruguayan striker took to his Instagram account to respond to congratulatory messages from his fans.
He decided to share a comment to appreciate a fan via his Instagram story which was seen as racially discriminatory. The line that brought the hammer of the English FA on Cavani goes “Gracias negrito”. The translation is “thank you black” which breached the FA Rule E3 that frowned against any derogatory comment made against anyone by a footballer or a football stakeholder in the country.
Even though Edinson Cavani deleted the post ‘immediately’ and issued a statement to apologize for it, insisting that the comment was not intended to racially abuse anyone, the FA went ahead to investigate the post.
In the course of the investigation, the 33-year-old striker pleaded guilty and was mandated to embark on a face-to-face education in addition to his three-match ban and the £100,000 fine.
This means that the former Paris Saint Germain striker who joined Manchester United on the deadline date of the 2020 summer transfer window would miss United’s games against Aston Villa, Manchester City, and Watford.
An FA statement said: “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.
“An independent Regulatory Commission was appointed to decide the sanction and its written reasons will be published in due course.”
In reaction to the ruling, Manchester United said: “As he has stated, Edinson Cavani wasn’t aware that his words could have been misconstrued and he sincerely apologized 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 about his post.”
Since Edinson Cavani joined Manchester United on a free transfer from PSG on October 5, 2020, he has made 14 appearances, scoring four goals and providing two assists. His current contract with United will expire in June 2021.