The commission that handed a three-match ban to Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani for using a racist term on social media said it was “surprised” that the club had not received media training. The three-member independent regulatory commission accepted that, when he used the word “negrito” in an Instagram post on Nov. 29 and imposed the minimum possible penalty, Cavani had not intended to cause offense. The post was in response to a friend, Pablo Fernandez, who had told the commission that his lifelong nickname was “Negrito”
Among others, the South American soccer federation CONMEBOL criticized the decision to punish Cavani, pointing out that the term can be used as an affection for the continent. The Uruguayan immediately deleted the post and apologized for the insult, but the commission was shocked that at the time, given the size of Cavani’s Instagram following, United had not given the player media training. The written justification of Edinson Cavani’s penalty by the Independent Regulatory Commission has now been published and can be found here: https://t.co/7GjXZKlOuw. -FA Spokesperson (@FAspokesperson) January 7, 2021 “Given the high profile of the player, his inability to speak English and the fact that he has almost eight million Instagram followers, the Commission was surprised that no such ‘training’ was set up specifically for the player by his club,” reads the written justification for the ban being imposed. It is understood that the requirement for Cavani to go into quarantine immediately interrupted normal orientation activities that would normally have included training in the media and that the post had been sent before rearranging it. “The standard minimum penalty for an on-field offense is now six games, but written offenses can carry a lower penalty if the commission is satisfied that there was no real intention to discriminate or offend. The commission wrote in imposing a three-game suspension: “The unique circumstances and facts of the case of this player were of such importance that a departure from the standard minimum penalty was so important that a departure from the standard minimum penalty was so important. “Despite his sincere belief that he simply sent a loving thank you in response to a congratulatory message from a close friend, he has decided not to challenge the charge out of respect and solidarity with the FA and the fight against racism in soccer. “The club is confident that the Independent Regulatory Commission will clarify in its written reasons that Edinson Cavani is not a racist, nor was he a racist.