Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani found himself on the headlines for the wrong reasons when his reply to a friend on his Instagram account was deemed worthy of introspection by the Football Association.
Cavani’s reply to a friend on Instagram included a word which is colloquial in his home country of Uruguay, but was interpreted as a racial slur to ensure a fine of £100,000 and a three match ban for the former PSG star forward.
The 33 year-old was suspended last month for his usage of the phrase “gracias, negrito” in response to a message from Pablo Hernandez after scoring a late goal in United’s win against Southampton.
Since the declaration of the sentence, the Uruguayan Football Association, as well as his international team mate Luís Suárez have backed Cavani over the controversy.
Despite the usage of the term “negrito” which is most likely to being interpreted as racially offensive in English Premier League football as we know it, Cavani was only meaning to display affection towards his friend.
In support of Cavani’s sentiments, a new wine with a familiar title was recently launched in his native country of Uruguay.
The wine titled “Gracias, negrito” is being sold with the prime intention to provide support to the misunderstood forward. “This has to be a really dark wine (bien negrito, as the translation would be), and it had to be a Tannat, which is our flagship variety”, says the maker.
Cavani has now served all three games of his suspension, and is eligible for selection in United’s next Premier League game against Burnley at Turf Moor. The cultural differences between his South American countries and England are stark enough indeed, as Edinson Cavani found out the hard way.