Man Utd responds to Edinson Cavani’s three-game ban

Edinson Cavani is banned for Manchester United’s next three matches (AMA / Getty)

Manchester United have defended Edinson Cavani and insist that the striker “is not a racist” after being banned from three games for using the word “negrito” in a post on Instagram.

After scoring two late goals in United’s 3-2 win over Southampton on 29 November, Cavani thanked a friend for his congratulatory message, but called him a “negrito”, who is often used emotionally in South America to describes someone with dark skin or hair.

United claims that Cavani, who posted his answer in Spanish, was unaware of the connotations and deleted the post after being informed that his message could lead to crimes.

The Uruguayan international will now miss United’s next three games against Aston Villa in the Premier League, Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-final and Watford in the third round of the FA Cup.

A statement from United wrote: “As Edinson Cavani stated, he was unaware that his words could have been misinterpreted and sincerely apologized for this post and for anyone who was offended.

“Despite his honest conviction that he simply sent a heartfelt thank you in response to a congratulatory message from a close friend, he chose not to challenge the accusation, out of respect and solidarity with the FA and the fight against racism in football.

Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani posted a

Edinson Cavani’s reply to a friend on Instagram used the word “negrito” (Instagram)

“While it is clear that context and intent are key factors, we note that the Independent Regulatory Commission has been asked to impose a minimum suspension of three games.

“The club is confident that the Independent Regulatory Commission will clarify in its written reasons that Edinson Cavani is not racist, nor has there been any racist intent in connection with his post.”

Speaking earlier this month, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggests that foreign players entering the Premier League for the first time would benefit from an education program.

– I saw Gary [Neville] he said something [that] maybe all the players from different cultures should be educated and I’m sure Edinson has learned the hard way, “said Solskjaer.

“I communicated with Edinson and he is very sorry for the mistake he made. There was no malicious intent at all – it was just an affectionate greeting to a friend of his – but I explained.

“He was asked by the FA to explain, so he will cooperate with them and we will support him. It is one of those unfortunate situations in which he just came to the country and used it differently in Uruguay [meaning] to what we have [for the word] so we will support and support the FA. It is important for the FA to ask him to explain and he is there for everyone to see, because we want to be in the fight against discrimination with everyone.

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