Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has been charged by the Football Association with misconduct over his social media activity, with the Uruguayan facing a ban following a controversial recent post.
The 33-year-old used the word ‘negrito’ in response to a congratulatory post from a friend following his two goals in United’s 3-2 victory over Southampton, with the club insisting that he was unaware of the negative connotations that the word carries in Britain as he intended to use it as ‘an affectionate greeting’.
Cavani and United have stressed that there was “absolutely no malicious intent” behind the comment, but they will consider the FA charge before issuing a response to the FA, who say the post constituted as “an aggravated breach” of FA Rule E3.2 due to the reference to colour, race and/or ethnic origin.
A club statement read: “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 Uruguayan has until Monday 4 January 2021 to respond, meaning he will be available for the entirety of United’s festive fixtures before facing any disciplinary action.
An FA statement read: “Edinson Cavani has been charged with misconduct for a breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to a social media post on Thursday 29 November 2020.
“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.
“The striker has until Monday 4 January 2021 to provide a response to the charge.”
Cavani issued an apology the day after the initial post, having deleted it from his profile once he was made aware of the controversy that the term carries in the UK.
“The message I posted after the game on Sunday 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,” he said.
“I am completely opposed to racism and deleted the message as soon as it was explained that it can be interpreted differently.
“I would like to sincerely apologise for this.”