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A red devil fan expressed his congratulations in Español to Edinson Cavani on Instagram after Man Utd win over Southmpton at 3-2, and then he replied ”gracias negrito!”. It caused a controversy for the reason that “ negrito “ in English is a racially offensive term.
Cavani and Manchester United released a statement on their website after that, apologising for the post.
“The message I posted after the match on Sunday was intended as an affectionate greeting to a friend, thanking him for his congratulations after the game. 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. I would like to sincerely apologise for this,” said Cavani.
Manchester United also added, “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. 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.”
The FA issued guidelines ahead of this season clamping down on racist and discriminatory language and behaviour, with offences on social media carrying a minimum three-game ban.
Once Edinson Cavani receive the ban he would miss matches against West Ham, Sheffield United and crucially the Manchester derby against Pep Guardiola's City.
Speaking on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football, Gary Neville believes players should be subject to regular diversity inclusion training to avoid such incidents.
“If we are truly going to root out discrimination in this country it has to become part of the curriculum at school, part of the curriculum within sport and every employer in the country has to enter into a diversity inclusion training programme and implement it and execute it. In football we have banners, players taking the knee, flags and badges but where is the education and training? This situation could have been prevented and we will continue to see incidents like this until the Premier League, FA, EFL, LMA and PFA all take responsibility.” He said.
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