Manchester United forward Edinson Cavani has apologised for a controversial Instagram post on Sunday night which the Football Association are set to launch an investigation into.
After coming off the bench to net a brace at St Mary’s in United’s come-from-behind 3-2 victory, Cavani responded to a post from a friend on Instagram saying, ‘Gracias negrito’, which translates as, ‘Thanks, little black’.
The post was deleted around three hours after the 33-year-old posted the message, once United had been made aware of Cavani’s choice of words.
Cavani was made aware that the use of the word ‘negrito’ was ill-judged and can be interpreted differently in the UK as opposed to his homeland.
The former Paris Saint-Germain forward has since released a statement to clarify that he meant no harm from the post and that he was responding in an ‘affectionate’ way to a friend.
‘The message I posted was intended as an affectionate greeting to a friend,’ said Cavani.
‘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.’
United followed up Cavani’s statement with one of their own and they insisted it was clear there was absolutely no ‘malicious’ intent to the striker’s message.
‘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,’ a statement read.
‘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.’
Cavani’s post has drawn comparisons to the Luis Suarez-Patrice Evra saga of 2011, when the then-Liverpool striker was banned for eight matches after being found guilty of using offensive language towards the Manchester United defender.
Suarez repeatedly used the word ‘negro’ towards Evra and he was found guilty of racially-aggravated language, including telling the left-back that he kicked him ‘because he was black’.
Suarez was also found guilty of making a clear indication towards Evra’s skin, by tugging at the Frenchman’s arm to make it clear that his comments were racial.
Manchester City winger Bernardo Silva was banned for one-match last season for an ill-judged social media post about team-mate Benjamin Mendy and it’s likely that Cavani will face the same, despite his protests.
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