MANCHESTER UNITED are hopeful Edinson Cavani will escape a ban for his ‘negrito’ Instagram comment thanks to a ‘cultural context’ argument.
The Uruguayan striker, 33, wrote ‘gracias negrito’ in response to a friend congratulating his two-goal performance during the 3-2 win over Southampton.
Man Utd will present a ‘cultural’ argument to help Cavani avoid a ban for his ‘negrito’ post
Cavani is set to be banned for at least three matches by the FACredit: PA:Press Association
Cavani – who joined United in the summer on a free transfer – faces a minimum three-game ban from the FA for the comment, despite the striker offering a public apology.
The former Paris Saint-Germain star said: “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.”
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But United hope to escape any suspension by offering ‘cultural context’, according to The Athletic.
It’s claimed United will show proof the term is only used by way of a nickname for the friend in question AND that it’s commonly used in his circle of pals.
Linguist Amparo Fernandez has also backed-up the claim by suggesting it is a term commonly used to show affection.
However, both Cavani and Man Utd are aware of the negative connotations of the word and will accept a punishment should it befall them.
At the time of the incident, a United statement read: “It is clear to us there was absolutely no malicious intent behind Edinson’s message.
“He deleted it as soon as he was informed that it could be misconstrued.
“Edinson has issued an apology for any unintentional offence caused.
“Manchester United and all of our players are fully committed to the fight against racism.”
The FA have until close of play on Monday December 7 to issue the charge.
A hearing can then being scheduled before December 21, with a commission to determine any punishment needed.
It means, unless there was a charge and immediate guilty plea, Cavani will be available for the Manchester derby against City on December 12 having already started the 3-1 win over West Ham.
He is also likely to be free to play United’s next two Premier League games, at Sheffield United in the first midweek fixture of the season and the clash with Leeds on December 20.
Any ban would then kick in for the Carabao Cup quarter-final at Everton on December 23.
Cavani would then get Christmas off and miss games against Leicester on Boxing Day and home to Wolves three days later.
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