Manchester United striker, Edinson Cavani, has been charged by the Football Association(FA) for a social media post containing a Spanish phrase that is offensive in some contexts.
Cavani put up the post in November, after scoring twice as a substitute in United’s 3-2 win over Southampton on November 29.
The 33-year-old responded to a post from a friend on Instagram by writing ‘Gracias negrito’, which translates as ‘Thanks, little black’.
He subsequently deleted the post and apologised when the meaning that could be attached to it was pointed out, saying, “It was intended as an affectionate greeting to a friend, thanking him for his congratulations after the game.
“The last thing I wanted to do was cause offence to anyone.
“I am completely opposed to racism and deleted the message as soon as it was explained that it can be interpreted differently.”
Cavani has now been charged with misconduct and has until Monday, January 4, 2021, to provide a response.
A statement by the FA read, “It is alleged that, contrary to FA Rule E3.1, a comment posted on the Manchester United FC player’s Instagram page was insulting and/or abusive and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.
“It is further alleged that the comment constitutes an ‘Aggravated Breach’, which is defined in FA Rule E3.2, as it included a reference, whether express or implied, to colour and/or race and/or ethnic origin.”
Cavani has until Monday, 4 January to provide a response to the misconduct charge which United say they will consider, but repeated their message that there was no malicious intent behind the forward’s post.
United, in response to the charges, said, “Manchester United and all of our players are fully committed to the fight against racism and we will continue to work with the FA – along with other governing bodies and organisations, and through our own campaigns – in that regard.
“We note the FA decision today to charge Edinson Cavani for his social media reply to a friend’s message of congratulations following the Southampton game.
“Edinson and the club were clear that there was absolutely no malicious intent behind the message, which he deleted and apologised for as soon as he was informed that it could have been misconstrued.
“The player and the club will now consider the charge and respond to the FA accordingly.”
The striker could face a lengthy ban if he is found guilty of the charges.