By Abba Gwale
Manchester United’s Edinson Cavani has been given a three-match ban by the Football Association for an offensive social media post.
Cavani pleaded guilty to a charge of using insulting and/or improper words.
The Uruguayan sent the message after scoring United’s winner at Southampton on 29 November.
Cavani, 33, subsequently deleted the post and apologised when the meaning that could be attached was pointed out.
An FA statement, with reference to new guidelines agreed in the summer, said the post was alleged to be “insulting and/or abusive and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute”.
It was also alleged “that the comment constitutes an aggravated breach” which “included reference, whether express or implied, to colour and/or race and/or ethnic origin”.
Cavani issued an apology shortly after posting the message on Instagram.
“It was intended as an affectionate greeting to a friend, thanking him for his congratulations after the game,” said the former Napoli and Paris St-Germain striker.
“The last thing I wanted to do was cause offence to anyone.
“I am completely opposed to racism and deleted the message as soon as it was explained that it can be interpreted differently.”
Cavani will Manchester United’s match with Aston Villa tomorrow, and he will also miss their semi-final match with Manchester City and FA Cup third round with Watford at all at Old Trafford.