Manchester United are trying to avoid a ban for Edinson Cavani, according to reports. The Uruguay international is facing a three-game ban for an Instagram post uploaded after the club’s 3-2 win over Southampton at the end of November. That would hit Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side hard, especially with Anthony Martial currently sidelined after limping out of the 3-1 victory over West Ham on Saturday.
Cavani was the hero in the recent win against Southampton, coming off the bench to score twice and give United a 3-2 victory at St Mary’s.
However, the Uruguay international made the headlines for all the wrong reasons after using the word ‘negrito’ in an Instagram post.
Cavani has insisted no offence was meant by his words and both the 33-year-old and United themselves released statements in the aftermath of the incident.
And, now, The Athletic say United are trying to offset a three-game ban by providing ‘cultural context’.
It’s said they will put forward that the word used was a specific nickname for the friend in question, who congratulated Cavani on his goal glut.
Cavani was expressing thanks to his pal for his congratulatory words and it was only in the aftermath of the match that he was told his comments could be interpreted differently.
United are putting forward the argument to the governing body that the Uruguayan’s homeland was surprised at the FA investigation.
They reportedly quoted linguist Amparo Fernandez as arguing the case was an example of attempts to ‘globalise meanings’.
Fernandez claimed that in parts of Latin America it is often used affectionately and this is what United are hoping will see Cavani avoid a ban.
However, they’re ready to accept whatever action the FA take.
They’re yet to decide whether to charge the veteran with discriminatory or racist language but, if found guilty, United will be without their No 7 for the short-term future.
Meanwhile, reacting to the controversy, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville called on more education in football.
He told Sky Sports: “We hear the words education and training and yet football is still incapable of putting a curriculum in place for its players, for its members, for its fans that is compulsory.
“Why is Edinson Cavani not subjected to diversity inclusion training and education the minute he comes into this country?
“If we truly are going to root out discrimination in this country it has to become part of the curriculum, in school and within sport.
“Every employer in the country has to enter into a diversity inclusion training programme and implement it and execute it.
“Still to this day, in football, we have banners being held, players taking the knee, wave flags in the air and wear badges on our chest, where is the education and training. This could have been prevented.
“We are still going to continue to see incidents like this where Cavani reposted that Instagram story didn’t have a clue that he was doing anything wrong. And within 24 hours he is having to apologise for it.
“The Premier League, the FA, the EFL, the LMA and the PFA. They are all funded, they all have lots of money, put a diversity inclusion set of protocols and processes in place that are fixed that all five buy up to.
“We have five different slogans (BLM, Show Racism the Red Card, No Room for Racism, Kick it Out, Players Together) and they cannot even come together on a singular campaign on something they should be one on. At least collaborate on important issues that are societal.
“Drive it out of the game, root out discrimination and it has to be done by education and training.
“That means players and everyone that takes part in this game, including us, to bi-weekly or monthly training on diversity inclusion and why people take offence to certain words and why some people don’t. If it offends someone it is a problem.”