Man Utd's Edinson Cavani banned for three games for Instagram post

Edinson Cavani made post featuring a racially offensive term after Manchester United's 3-2 win at Southampton on November 29; Striker will miss games against Aston Villa, Manchester City and Watford; United stess there was no 'racist intent' in the post

Edinson Cavani joined Manchester United on a one-year deal during October's Transfer Deadline Day
Image: Edinson Cavani will miss Manchester United's games against Aston Villa, Manchester City and Watford

Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has been banned for three games and fined £100,000 for an Instagram post last month.

Cavani must complete also face-to-face education after admitting a charge for a breach of FA Rule E3. He will miss United's games against Aston Villa, Manchester City and Watford.

The 33-year-old shared an Instagram story from a fan which featured a racially offensive term after United's 3-2 win at Southampton on November 29, in which Cavani scored twice, including a stoppage-time winner. The post was later deleted and Cavani apologised.

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."

Manchester United stressed their was 'no racist intent' in the post and said in a club statement: "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.

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"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."

Cavani: My heart is at peace

After accepting the ban, Cavani said that while he did not agree with the governing body's assessment of his comment, his heart was at peace.

On New Year's Eve, he posted on social media: "I do not want to extend much in this uncomfortable moment. I want to share with you that I accept the disciplinary sanction knowing that I am foreign to English language customs, but I do not share the point of view.

"I apologise if I offended someone with an expression of affection towards a friend, nothing further in my intention. Those who know me know that my effort always seeks the simplest joy and friendship!

"I appreciate the countless expressions of support and affection. My heart is at peace because I know that I always expressed myself with affection according to my culture and way of life. I send you a sincere hug."

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