Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association over his social media post about team-mate Benjamin Mendy.
The Portuguese tweeted an image of a young Mendy alongside an image of the brand mascot of Spanish confectionery brand Conguitos on September 22. He deleted the post, which has now led to an FA charge.
A statement from the governing body on Wednesday morning read: “Bernardo Silva has been charged with misconduct for a breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to a social media post on September 22, 2019.
“It is alleged that the Manchester City player’s activity breaches FA Rule E3(1) as it was insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.”
The FA statement continued: “It is further alleged that the activity constitutes an “aggravated breach”, which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as it included reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin. The midfielder has until 9 October 2019 to provide a response.”
City boss Pep Guardiola has continually deflected criticism his player has received, saying that the tone of the tweet is similar to the behaviour the pair show in training.
“If people believe Bernardo is this type of person they are completely wrong,” the manager said. “They judge him on one joke, I judge him on three years working with him every single day.
“Benjamin is like a brother to Bernardo. That is what I see every single day.”
FA guidelines state that a breach of rule E3 on social media would not immediately mean a six-match ban, as a proven offence on the pitch would. Instead, a regulatory commission will decide what sanction it deems appropriate for the act committed.
Where the comments are “clearly pejorative and discriminatory”, match-based sanctions can be imposed. Mandatory education courses are also to form part of any sanction for a proven offence.