Edinson Cavani facing FA probe after sparking racism storm

Edinson Cavani facing FA probe after sparking racism storm for calling a friend ‘negrito’ in Instagram post just hours after inspiring Manchester United’s comeback win at Southampton

  • Edinson Cavani faces a probe after posting a message with racial connotations
  • Cavani scored the winner at St Mary’s, but has now sparked a racism storm
  • He referred to a friend as ‘negrito’ in a message, which has now been deleted 

Edinson Cavani is facing an FA probe after sparking a race storm following Manchester United’s dramatic victory at Southampton.

Cavani scored two goals, including a stoppage-time winner, to inspire United side to victory after coming off the bench at half-time.

But his heroics at St Mary’s were overshadowed when he posted a Spanish term with racial connotations on social media. 

Edinson Cavani is facing an FA probe after posting a message with racial connotations online

In response to a message of congratulations, seemingly from a friend, Cavani said: ‘Gracias negrito.’ The term, which makes reference to race, translates directly as ‘Thanks black’.

Three hours after posting the tweet, it was deleted. Cavani insists ‘negrito’ is a term of affection in South America and that will be his defence is any disciplinary action is taken.

The FA are aware of Cavani’s post and looking into it. And the incident quickly led to comparisons being drawn between Cavani and his fellow Uruguayan Suarez.

Cavani’s countryman, then Liverpool striker Suarez, was banned for eight games and fined £40,000 for using the word ‘negro’ after clashing with United defender Patrice Evra in 2011.

Suarez attempted to argue in his FA hearing that the word in Uruguay and other parts of Latin America is inoffensive in certain situations.

In his book he later insisted the word does not mean the same in English as Spanish and he was unaware of the difference and it’s ‘highly-offensive’ meaning here at the time, even though he used it in a row with the Frenchman. His suggestions were rejected by the FA’s independent commission.

He also explained in his book: ‘Negro can refer to anyone with dark hair as well as dark skin and I’ve been used to the word being used in Spanish in this way all my life.

‘My wife sometimes calls me “Negro” or (the diminutive version) “Negrito”. My grandmother used to call my grandfather “Negrito” and she would occasionally call me that too.

The FA published updated punishment guidelines ahead of the start of a new season in a clampdown on racism and discriminatory behaviour.

Any discriminatory behaviour on social media will carry a minimum three-game suspension for culprits compared to bans of between six and 12 games for offences that take place in matches.

The bans were increased after Manchester City’s Bernando Silva and Tottenham’s Dele Alli were suspended for just one-game after breaching FA rules with posts on social media.

The new FA policies mean incidents that take place privately or ‘outside of a standard football setting’ would no longer spare offenders.