Manchester United have been informed that they will be heading into a critical series of matches without the services of striker Edinson Cavani after the FA handed him a three-match ban for a post made on social media.
The FA charged Cavani with a misconduct charge after he ‘brought the game into disrepute’ over an Instagram post following United’s 3-2 victory at Southampton last month. Cavani decided not to contest the charge and must complete a face-to-face education course.
Cavani will also be fined £100,000 over an ‘aggravated breach’ of their rules.
After his match-winning double against Southampton, Cavani shared a post from a friend who congratulated him on the match on an Instagram Story, adding “Gracías negrito.”
Once Cavani was informed the post could be interpreted offensively out of context, he deleted the Story but the FA have still imposed a minimum three-match suspension.
Cavani will miss United’s Premier League visit of Aston Villa on New Year’s Day, the Carabao Cup semi-final with Manchester City on Wednesday and the FA Cup third-round tie with Watford on January 9.
United added their support of the striker sharing this statement after the decision:
“As he has stated, Edinson Cavani wasn’t aware that his words could have been misconstrued and he sincerely apologized for the post and to anyone who was offended.
“Despite his honest belief that he was simply sending an affectionate thank you in response to a congratulatory message from a close friend, he chose not to contest the charge out of respect for, and solidarity with, the FA and the fight against racism in football.
“While it is clear that context and intent are key factors, we note that the independent Regulatory Commission was required to impose a minimum three-game suspension.
“The club trusts that the independent Regulatory Commission will make it clear in its written reasons that Edinson Cavani is not a racist, nor was there any racist intent in relation to his post.”