Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has been suspended for three games by the Football Association following a social media post where he used language that has been ruled racially insensitive.
Cavani posted a message in response to an Instagram story from a friend after United’s 3-2 win over Southampton on November 29, in which he scored twice.
Uruguay international Cavani used a Spanish phrase in the post, which was later deleted after he was told of its potential to cause offence.
The Football Association (FA) charged the 33-year-old with bringing the game into disrepute earlier this month and on Thursday announced he must serve a suspension following an investigation.
He has also been fined £100,000 and must complete face-to-face education, the FA said.
An FA statement read: “A comment posted on the Manchester United striker’s Instagram page was insulting, abusive, improper and brought the game into disrepute contrary to FA rule E3.1.
“The post also 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.
“An independent regulatory commission was appointed to decide the sanction and its written reasons will be published in due course.”
Cavani will miss United’s Premier League clash with Aston Villa on Friday, as well as the EFL Cup semi-final against Manchester City and FA Cup third-round tie against Watford.
United said the striker would not contest the charge but stressed there was no “racist intent” behind his comment.
The club said in a statement: “As he has stated, Edinson Cavani wasn’t aware that his words could have been misconstrued and he sincerely apologised 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.”
The former Paris Saint-Germain striker has scored four goals in 14 appearances across all competitions since he joined United on a free transfer in October.
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