The FA explained their reasoning by granting Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani a three-game ban and a £ 100,000 fine following his social media post which included a Spanish word considered racist in others languages.
Cavani used the word to thank his friend for a message of support after inspiring Manchester United to a 3-2 comeback victory over Southampton in November with two goals off the bench.
The Uruguayan striker deleted the post and apologized after being told the term could be interpreted as racist.
The FA released the Regulatory Commission report for Cavani’s case, which details the reasoning behind the attacker’s sanction.
The use of the term violates FA Rule E3: Using indecent or insulting words with express or implied reference to ethnicity, color or race.
Such a violation would typically result in a six to 12 game ban. However, the FA concluded that Cavani’s post was not “intended to be racist or offensive to either his friend or others reading the content of the Instagram post.”
As the offense was committed using a communication device (as opposed to the word spoken aloud), and there was no intention to be discriminatory or offensive, a six-game ban over would have been considered “excessive”.
The FA took into account the fact that Cavani, a Spanish speaker, has never lived before in an English speaking country and has not received any media training since moving to Old Trafford in October 2020, specifically to live in the UK.
However, they also added that Cavani could have replied privately to his friends’ post but chose to post publicly to his 7.9 million Instagram followers. Although the united man has no intention of offending, this is not how each of his disciples could interpret the term.
“A reasonable observer with no understanding of South American cultural norms with regard to the use of the word and without an understanding of the relationship between the Player and his close friend, would inevitably regard the words used by the Player as being of a nature to be violated Rule E3 (2) ”, adds the report.
“A fan of English Premier League football would naturally have concluded that the words used were racially offensive.”