Edinson Cavani has apologised for his deleted Instagram post which contained a Spanish phrase that can be deemed offensive.
The Manchester United striker is set to be the subject of an investigation by the Football Association for the message, which was posted after he scored United’s late winner in a 3-2 comeback win at Southampton on Sunday.
Cavani could face a three-match ban for using the term ‘negrito’, which he says he used as an affectionate term to a friend who was congratulating him on his winning goal.
The 33-year-old striker deleted the post once he was made aware of how it could be interpreted and has now apologised in a statement.
“The message I posted after the game on Sunday was intended as an affectionate greeting to a friend, thanking him for his congratulations after the game. The last thing I wanted to do was cause offence to anyone,” he said in a statement.
“I am completely opposed to racism and deleted the message as soon as it was explained that it can be interpreted differently. I would like to sincerely apologise for this.”
United simultaneously released a club statement in which they said there was “absolutely no malicious intent” behind Cavani’s message and that he deleted it “as soon as he was informed that it could be misconstrued”.
“Edinson has issued an apology for any unintentional offence caused. Manchester United and all of our players are fully committed to the fight against racism,” the club added.
Any player found guilty of an offence of discrimination on social media faces a minimum three-match suspension, according to guidelines which came into force at the start of the season.
Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva and Tottenham Hotspur’s Dele Alli both received a one-match ban last season for posts which were deemed racially offensive.