EDINSON Cavani will miss Manchester United’s next THREE games after accepting the ban for his “negrito” Instagram comment.
And the Uruguayan ace also copped a whopping £100,000 fine as he admitted breaching FA social media rules.
But United have urged the FA to make clear Cavani is NOT a racist.
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In a message to Wembley beaks, the club insisted: “As he has stated, Edinson Cavani wasn’t aware that his words could have been misconstrued and he sincerely apologised for the post and to anyone who was offended.
“Despite his honest belief that he was simply sending an affectionate thank-you in response to a congratulatory message from a close friend, he chose not to contest the charge, out of respect for, and solidarity with, the FA and the fight against racism in football.
“While it is clear that context and intent are key factors, we note that the independent Regulatory Commission was required to impose a minimum three-game suspension.
“The club trusts that the independent Regulatory Commission will make it clear in its written reasons that Edinson Cavani is not a racist, nor was there any racist intent in relation to his post.”
FA beaks investigated the comment made to a fan after his late match-winning double at Southampton on November 29.
On December 17, he was officially charged with an “aggravated breach” because his comment was deemed to have “included reference, whether express or implied, to colour and/or race and/or ethnic origin”.
The striker, who swiftly deleted his comments after United were alerted to them, was backed by the club in his insistence that there was no intended racial reference and simply a regular South American phrase.
He chose not to contest the charge, out of respect for, and solidarity with, the FA and the fight against racism in football.
That cut no ice after the FA – with the agreement of the PFA and clubs – brought in new hardline disciplinary rules covering references to race, religion or sexual orientation in August.
While that was six weeks before the Uruguayan signed for United, he was bound by the regulations.
As SunSport reported, FA disciplinary chiefs had no option other than to impose the three-match suspension if Cavani was found to have broken the rules.
And despite United’s initial defence of the player, Cavani accepted the charge at a hearing this week.
Cavani could have waited until Monday before the hearing, which would have allowed him to feature against Aston Villa on Friday.
Instead, he will miss the game as well as the Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester City on Wednesday and next week’s FA Cup third round clash with Watford.
In addition to the ban and fine, Cavani had to agree to attend a mandatory education course to prevent a recurrence of the offence.
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