Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has been charged with misconduct by the English Football Association (FA) over a social media post last month.
Cavani shared an Instagram story from a fan which featured a racially offensive term after United’s 3-2 win at Southampton on November 29, in which Cavani scored twice, including a stoppage-time winner. The post was later deleted and Cavani apologised.
United stressed the word was clearly used in an affectionate manner and has different connotations in Cavani’s home country of Uruguay.
But the FA have seen fit to charge the striker with a breach of their Rule E3, alleging his post was “insulting and/or abusive and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.”
The governing body added: “It is further alleged that the comment constitutes an Aggravated Breach, which is defined in FA Rule E3.2, as it included reference, whether express or implied, to colour and/or race and/or ethnic origin.”
Cavani has until January 4 to respond to the charge. He faces at least a three-match ban if he is found guilty.
United released a statement following the FA’s decision, reading: “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.”
Shortly after deleting the post, Cavani issued an apology which read: “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. 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.”