Uruguay’s Spanish language academy has labelled the Football Association as “ignorant” after handing down a three-game ban to Edinson Cavani.
The Manchester United striker was also handed a £100,000 fine for what the FA deemed to be an “abusive” comment on Instagram following a 3-2 win against Southampton in November.
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“A comment posted on the Manchester United FC striker’s Instagram page was insulting, abusive, improper and brought the game into disrepute contrary to FA Rule E3.1.
“The post also constitutes an “aggravated breach”, which is defined in FA Rule E3.2, as it included reference, whether express or implied, to colour and/or race and/or ethnic origin.
“An independent Regulatory Commission was appointed to decide the sanction and its written reasons will be published in due course,” the FA said in a statement.
The post was quickly deleted and Cavani released an apology shortly afterwards. The Uruguayan striker missed United’s game against Aston Villa and will also miss matches against Manchester City and Watford.
Cavani must also complete face-to-face education after admitting to the charge and issued an apology insisting he was “completely opposed to racism”.
‘The FA has committed a serious injustice’
However, Uruguay’s Academia Nacional de Letras has argued that the term Cavani used was meant as a term of endearment and is commonly used in the South American country.
“In the Spanish of Uruguay, for example, in couples or among friends, between parents and children, one often hears and reads expressions such as… gordito, negri, negrito.
“In fact, a person so addressed is not necessarily overweight or dark-skinned,” the academy said in a statement.
The academy issued its “strongest rejection” of the sanctioning of Cavani, and said the federation’s “questionable resolution” was the result of “poverty of cultural and linguistic knowledge.”
The statement argued that the FA had “committed a serious injustice to a Uruguayan athlete of the highest international level and has exposed ignorance… regarding the use of language and in particular Spanish, without taking note of all its complexities and contexts.”