Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has accepted the three-game ban handed to him by the Football Association (FA) for using a racial term and said that while he did not agree with the governing body’s assessment of his comment, his heart was at peace.
The 33-year-old Uruguayan used the word “negrito” in an Instagram post after the club’s victory over Southampton on Nov. 29, before taking it down and apologising. He said it was intended as an expression of affection to a friend.
But the FA on Thursday said the comment was “improper and brought the game into disrepute”, fined Cavani 100,000 pounds and ordered him to complete “face-to-face education” as part of his punishment.
United said Cavani chose not to contest the charge out of respect for the FA and the “fight against racism in football”, with the Uruguayan posting an apology on social media late on Thursday.
“I do not want to extend much in this uncomfortable moment,” Cavani wrote on Instagram. “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.
“I apologise if I offended someone with an expression of affection towards a friend, nothing further in my intention. Those who know me know that my effort always seeks 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 miss United’s league game against Aston Villa later on Friday, the League Cup semi-final against Manchester City and the FA Cup match against Watford as a result of the suspension.