Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has accepted the Football Association’s decision to ban him for three games for an Instagram post made in November, but was also quick to stress his innocence.
The 33-year-old was handed the suspension along with a £100,000 fine and an order to undergo face-to-face education on Thursday after the FA found a post containing the words “Gracias negrito” brought the game into disrepute.
Cavani didn’t challenge the FA’s decision with the Red Devils asking for his fine to be used to fund anti-racism projects and initiatives.
Though he accepted his ban and stressed he was eager to move on from the incident, the Uruguayan has taken to social media to reiterate he didn’t mean any malice with his comments.
“Hello everyone, I do not want to extend much in this uncomfortable moment for me. 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,” Cavani posted on Instagram.
“I apologise if I offended someone with an expression of affection towards a friend, nothing further was my intention. Those who know me know that my effort is to always seek 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.”
Cavani will now miss United’s upcoming games against Aston Villa, Manchester City and Watford, with the club saying they are thankful the FA decided to impose the minimum suspension.
“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,” a club statement read.
“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.”
United will face Villa on Friday, with a win taking them level on points with Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table.