Manchester United forward Edinson Cavani has been slapped with a three-game ban by the Football Association and fined £100,000 after an ‘aggravated breach’ of their rules.
The charge related to a comment posted on social media by Cavani back in November.
After inspiring United to a 3-2 comeback win over Southampton, the Uruguayan posted a message on Instagram in response to a fan that featured the world ‘negrito’.
He quickly deleted the post and issued an apology, insisting the word has a different and inoffensive meaning in his home nation.
An FA statement said: “A comment posted on the Manchester United FC striker’s Instagram page was insulting, abusive, improper and brought the game into disrepute contrary to FA Rule E3.1.
“The post also constitutes an ‘aggravated breach’. which is defined in FA Rule E3.2, as it included reference, whether express or implied, to colour and/or race and/or ethnic origin.
“An independent Regulatory Commission was appointed to decide the sanction and its written reasons will be published in due course.”
The 33-year-old will also be required to complete face-to-face education.
In a statement following the FA’s decision, United offered their backing to Cavani saying: “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.”