Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has been handed a three-match ban by the Football Association for using a racial term in a social media post.
The 33-year-old summer signing’s ban relates to a message he sent to a follower after United’s win over Southampton in November.
After scoring twice to haul the Red Devils to three points, Cavani used the word ‘negrito’ – which translates as ‘black’ – in response to a congratulatory message he received.
The Uruguayan swiftly deleted the post and issued an apology after being made aware of the connotations.
Indeed, he released an apologetic statement the following day saying that he was “completely opposed to racism”.
But the FA charged the striker with “misconduct for a breach of FA Rule E3” in relation to his post on December 19 and has now banned him for three games.
As such, he will miss Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa, the Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester City and the FA Cup third-round tie against
The FA said in a statement: “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.”
However, he will be available for the crunch Premier League meeting with Liverpool. United can go level on points with the Reds – with a game in hand – if they beat Villa on Saturday.
What’s more, they will play their game in hand against Burnley on January 12, five days before meeting Liverpool.
Man Utd issue Cavani statement
Meanwhile, United issued their own statement in response to Cavani’s ban.
The club said (via manutd.com): “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.”
READ MORE: Solskjaer puts Man Utd mentality change down to two underused stars