‘My heart is at peace’ – Cavani responds to FA ban as Man Utd striker accepts decision

Veteran forward to be sidelined for three games after race-insensitive social media post

Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani accepted the Football Association’s decision to ban him for three games for an Instagram post in November, but was quick to point out his innocence.

The 33-year-old was suspended with a £ 100,000 fine and an order to undergo face-to-face education on Thursday after the FA found a message containing the words ‘Gracias negrito’ discrediting the game.

Cavani did not contest the FA’s decision with the Red Devils asking that his fine be used to fund anti-racism projects and initiatives.

Although he accepted his ban and stressed that he was eager to get out of the incident, the Uruguayan took to social media to reiterate that he did not want mischief with his comments.

“Hello everyone, I don’t want to prolong this uncomfortable moment too much for me. I want to share with you that I accept the disciplinary sanction knowing that I am a stranger to English speaking customs, but I do not share the point of view, “Cavani posted on Instagram.

“I apologize if I offended someone with an expression of affection towards a friend, nothing more was my intention. Those who know me know that my effort is always to seek the simplest joy and friendship!

“I appreciate the countless expressions of support and affection. My heart is at peace because I know that I have always expressed myself with affection according to my culture and my way of life. I send you a sincere hug.”

Cavani will now miss United’s upcoming games against Aston Villa, Manchester City and Watford, with the club saying they are grateful the FA have decided to impose the minimum suspension.

“While it is clear that context and intent are key factors, we note that the Independent Regulatory Commission was required to impose a minimum three-game suspension,” a club statement said.

“The club hope that the Independent Regulatory Commission will make it clear in its written reasons that Edinson Cavani is not racist and that there was no racist intent in relation to his post.”

United will face Villa on Friday, with a victory that will put them on a par with Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table.