Scoring twice and assisting in Manchester United 3-2 win over Southampton, Edinson Cavani had won the hearts of Red Devils fans. However, in the Uruguayan’s Instagram celebrations, he posted a message thanking a supporter for a message of appreciate using a Spanish phrase which is offensive in some contexts.
The post has now been deleted and Cavani and Manchester United have now released a statement on their website apologising for the post.
“The message I posted after the match 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,” said Cavani.
Manchester United also added, “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.”
From the statement, it is highly unlikely that the club will be taking any further action against the forward. His goals against Southampton could potentially have earned the forward more minutes under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Despite Manchester United’s understanding of Cavani’s post not being sent with any malicious intent, the FA could still take action on the striker after new rules were introduced by the organisation this season.
The FA published a statement in August outlining that sanctions given for incidents of discrimination can be increased or decreased from the previous 6-12 game parameters set out for such offences.
Kika Casilla, Leeds United goalkeeper, was given an 8-match ban having been found guilty of racially abusing Charlton Athletic forward Jonathan Leko. Casilla said that the sanction was not “a clear reflection of the incident.”
FA rules state that all possible cases will be looked at and a minimum 3-match ban could be given to guilty parties.
Were Cavani to receive the ban he would miss matches against West Ham, Sheffield United and crucially the Manchester derby against Pep Guardiola’s City.
This article was edited by Josh Barker.