Edinson Cavani facing three-match ban for ‘racist’ social media post

Manchester United striker Edinson could face a three-game ban if the Football Association deems that he used discriminatory language in an Instagram story shared from his account on Sunday after Southampton win.

The FA has already confirmed it is investigating the post, which was published shortly after United’s 3-2 victory over Southampton, in which Cavani scored a brace after coming on as a substitute in the second half.

In the now deleted post – the words “gracias negrito!” are used to thank a follower congratulating Cavani on his performance in the their win over the Saints.

And Social media postings are covered by FA Rule E3, and if a comment is believed to include a reference to an individual’s ethnic origin, colour, race or nationality, then it will be regarded as a possible aggravating factor in any punishment.

The rules also reveals that the owners of social media accounts are responsible for anything posted from their account, whether by themselves or through a third party.

Additionally, deleting any inappropriate post does not prevent a sanction. Last year, Bernardo Silva was banned for a match after posting and then deleting a tweet comparing Benjamin Mendy to a cartoon figure on a brand of Spanish chocolate.

If the FA decides to pursue the case, they will write to Cavani in the next few days asking for him for a written observations. Any charge must be issued by next Monday.

The word in question – “negrito” – was the same one used by Cavani’s Uruguay teammate Luis Suárez to Patrice Evra during a game between Liverpool and United in 2011.

At the time, Suárez claimed that the word was a term of endearment and not intended as any form of racial abuse. But, the FA’s disciplinary panel rejected his explanation, and Suárez was banned for eight games.

At the start of this campaign, the FA issued fresh guidelines on any form of racist language and behaviour on social media, with offences carrying a minimum ban of three games.


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