According to the Athletic (subscription required), Manchester United are set to use proof that the term ‘negrito’ is a specific nickname for Edinson Cavani’s friend in a bid to avoid a ban for the striker.
Cavani, who arrived as a free transfer this summer after years of success with Paris Saint-Germain, was accused of being ‘racist’ by some after he used the word on Instagram.
The incident came as Cavani replied to a congratulatory message from a friend following his game-winning contribution of two goals and an assist as a substitute against Southampton.
The Athletic add that United are hoping to escape a three-game ban for this high-profile attacker by providing ‘cultural context’ to the term’s use, as it has mixed meanings in Latin America.
This point was touched upon by the Independent when then Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was handed an eight-match ban for saying this to Red Devils legend Patrice Evra.
See More: ‘It’s hard to see anything else’ – UK journalist expects Man United star Edinson Cavani to be banned for Instagram post seen as racist by some
It is clear that Cavani did not use ‘negrito’ in a malicious way, as it was used as the star expressed thanks to his friend for the congratulatory message.
The Athletic state that Cavani and United have ‘written evidence’ available to them that would prove the term in a nickname for the friend in question.
It’s added that the FA are yet to decide what offence Cavani may be charged with, if he’s deemed to have used racist language he will face a minimum ban of three games.
The Football Association find themselves under pressure to make the right decision given the nature of the incident, as well as not setting a dangerous precedent with whatever their verdict is.