EDINSON CAVANI still faces a three-match ban despite making a public apology for his ‘negrito’ Instagram comment.
Manchester United’s new Uruguayan strike ace said sorry for his social media post.
Edinson Cavani has issued an apology after posting a ‘racist’ term on social mediaCredit: AFP or licensors
The Uruguayan used the term on his Instagram story on Sunday night as the FA launched a probe
In a statement issued by the club, Cavani 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.”
Cavani found himself in hot water for the comment which followed his injury-time winner at Southampton on Sunday.
The Uruguayan answered a a fan who posted a message of ‘asi te quiero matador’ – ‘I love you, matador’ – with the phrase: “Gracias negrito.”
Under FA regulations, using a discriminatory word, regardless of context, leaves the South American open to a charge.
United jumped to Cavani’s defence, insisting: “It is clear to us that there was absolutely no malicious intent behind Edinson’s message and 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.”
But that seems unlikely to avoid the prospect of action, which leaves the striker facing an automatic three-game ban if found guilty.
New regulations, brought in by the FA in August, distinguish between language used on and off the pitch, including on social media.
The rules, sent out to all clubs and players – via the PFA – state: “Where an offence is in writing only or via any communication device the absolute minimum match-based sanction in such cases will be three games.”
Under FA guidelines, disciplinary chiefs have until close of business on Wednesday to decide whether to charge or contact Cavani to ask for his observations.
The FA would then have until next Monday to actually issue the charge, with a hearing 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, that Cavani will be available for the weekend game with West Ham and the Manchester derby against City on December 12.
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, with Cavani getting Christmas off and missing the games against Leicester on Boxing Day and home to Wolves three days later.
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The striker, bottom, sparked incredible scenes with his injury-time winner at St Mary’s to complete a comeback winCredit: Getty Images – Getty
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