OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER insists Edinson Cavani ‘never meant any harm’ over the Instagram post that landed the Manchester United star in race-row controversy.
The 33-year-old is facing the prospect of a three-match ban after being charged by the Football Association with misconduct over an ‘aggravated breach’ of its race rules.
Uruguay international Cavani came off the bench to fire two goals past Southampton in a 3-2 comeback win for the Red Devils.
But his two-goal match winning cameoat the end of November was soon overshadowed.
He reposted a message from a friend on his Instagram story that contained the words ‘Gracis negrito’, which translated means ‘Thanks, little black’.
The former PSG ace deleted it three hours later and issued a public apology after discovering that the term was considered offensive.
However, the FA have still announced it has charged the hotshot.
Cavani is understood to have claimed he was responding to a friend that carries that specific nickname and that same person also refers to his own son by it in his written reasons to the FA.
United boss Solskjaer jumped to his South American star’s defence after last night’s 3-2 win at Sheffield United, saying: “I know Edinson never meant any harm, it’s his friend.
“He’s come into a new country and made a mistake, he didn’t mean any malice. He’s apologised. We will work with the FA and hope it will be OK.”
A club statement from the Red Devils stresses there was no ‘malicious intent’ from Cavani and how he was unaware of the term having racial connotations due to it being used with affection in South America.
United’s statement read: “Manchester United and all of our players are fully committed to the fight against racism and we will continue to work with the FA – along with other governing bodies and organisations, and through our own campaigns – in that regard.
“We note the FA decision today to charge Edinson Cavani for his social media reply to a friend’s message of congratulations following the Southampton game.
“Edinson and the club were clear that there was absolutely no malicious intent behind the message.”
But the FA hired linguistics experts for its investigation, and they felt Cavani’s actions warranted a charge.
He has until January 4 to respond with United yet to decide whether to contest the charge.
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