The Football Association has published its written reasons for handing Edinson Cavani a three-match suspension – and told off Manchester United for their part in the Uruguayan’s ban.
The FA banned Manchester United and Uruguay striker Cavani for three matches on New Year’s Eve. That was after he was seen using a racial term in a social media post.
Cavani had replied to a message congratulating him for his match-winning display against Southampton in November. In the post, the 33-year-old used the Spanish word ‘negrito’.
The word translates as ‘little black person’. It is commonly used as a term of endearment in Uruguay, and other Spanish-speaking countries. However, it is considered offensive elsewhere.
The FA determined the post was “insulting, abusive, improper and brought the game into disrepute” in contravention of new rules adopted last summer.
It also said the post constituted an “aggravated breach” of rules as it “included reference, whether express or implied, to colour and/or race and/or ethnic origin”.
Cavani himself said he deleted the post “as soon as it was explained that it can be interpreted differently” in other countries. He also quickly apologised for any unintentional offence caused.
The suspension though has caused something of a stir back in Cavani’s homeland. Indeed the Uruguayan players’ union since labelling the FA racist.
That has since has led the Football Association to explain their reasons for the ban. And in doing so, they have rebuked Manchester United for failing to give Cavani a lesson in social media.
They cited Cavani’s aggravated breach of FA Rule E3, which states a player should “act in the best interests of the game and shall not act in any manner which is improper or brings the game into disrepute or use any one, or any combination of, violent conduct, serious foul play, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour.”
They said: “Having signed for Manchester United in early October 2020, the player had received no media training specific to his residence in this country [sic] to enable him to be better placed to understand the cultural differences that might give rise to issues with a foreign player posting information on a social media platform.
“In light of the player’s high profile in the game, his inability to speak English and the fact that he had approaching 8 million Instagram followers, the Commission were surprised that no such ‘training’ had been specifically put in place for the player by his club.”
Cavani has since missed the win against Aston Villa and Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final defeat to Man City. He will complete the ban in the FA Cup tie with Watford this weekend.
Paul Pogba admits Man Utd struggles
Paul Pogba, meanwhile, has given his thoughts after United again crashed out of a cup competition at the semi-final stage.
It is the fourth time in 12 months United have fallen short at this stage of a competition.
Speaking to MUTV, France international Pogba admitted that it will be “difficult” to overcome their latest setback.
However, with the Red Devils on a 10-match unbeaten Premier League streak, he urged his teammates not to dwell on Wednesday’s result.
“There is no time to be disappointed for a week because we know where we are,” the 27-year-old said.
“We are in a good position now. We don’t have time to be disappointed and we don’t have the time. United will get through this and we will go again.
“It is difficult and it is going to be difficult, and you learn from these games. It is going to hopefully help us to get through. I hope to get better and to have a positive result in the next games.”