Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani could be facing a three-match ban as the FA have confirmed an investigation into a comment made on Instagram on Sunday.
Cavani was the hero for the Red Devils with two goals off the bench to complete a 3-2 comeback win against Southampton and received glowing praise from fans on his social accounts.
The Uruguayan posted a now-deleted Instagram story, thanking one such follower for his support with the words “gracias negrito!”
Incidentally, this is the same word used by Cavani’s countryman Luis Suarez towards Patrice Evra In 2011. The then-Liverpool forward received an eight-game ban on that occasion, the first of multiple indiscretions during his time in England.
Suarez maintained throughout that investigation the word was commonly used in a friendly sense by Uruguayans and other Spanish speakers and Liverpool supported their player throughout – although many look back on the club’s response regrettably, now.
This investigation comes after Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva was suspended for one match for a social media post last season that likened Benjamin Mendy to a Spanish cartoon character.
A suspension would be disappointing given all the work the Premier League have done in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and their own Say No To Racism campaign driven by Kick it Out.
On that, the FA had introduced new guidelines at the beginning of this season that stipulate any racially motivated language or behaviour on social platforms would result in a minimum three-game ban.
The governing body also stressed the player is liable for any posts or actions made, regardless of if they or a third party were the ones to post them.
The FA have one week to issue a charge and are likely to write to Cavani in the coming days seeking explanation.
The minimum three-game suspension would see the No.7 miss trips to West Ham and Sheffield United, as well as the Manchester Derby at Old Trafford in two weeks’ time.