EDINSON CAVANI is set to be available for Manchester United until Christmas week – even if he is charged for his allegedly ‘racist’ social media post.
SunSport revealed that Wembley beaks have opened an investigation into Cavani’s Instagram response to a congratulatory message after firing his side to victory at Southampton.
The Uruguayan answered a fan who posted a message of ‘asi te quiero matador’ – ‘I love you, matador’ – with the phrase: ‘Gracias negrito.’
Under FA regulations, using a discriminatory word, regardless of context, leaves the South American open to a charge.
United are understood to feel the use of the word, widely deployed in South America, was in an affectionate, although Cavani has been made aware that it might be misinterpreted.
But that seems unlikely to avoid the prospect of action, which leaves the striker facing an automatic three-game ban if found guilty.
New regulations, brought in by the FA in August, distinguish between language used on and off the pitch, including on social media.
But the rules, sent out to all clubs and players – via the PFA – state: “Where an offence is in writing only or via any communication device the absolute minimum match-based sanction in such cases will be three games.”
Under FA guidelines, disciplinary chiefs have until close of business on Wednesday to decide whether to charge or contact Cavani to ask for his observations.
The FA would then have until next Monday to actually issue the charge, with a hearing then being scheduled before December 21, with a commission to determine any punishment needed.
It means, unless there was a charge and immediate guilty plea, that Cavani will be available for the weekend game with West Ham and the Manchester derby against City on December 12.
He is also likely to be free to play United’s next two Prem games, at Sheffield United in the first midweek fixture of the season and the clash with Leeds on December 20.
Any ban would then kick in for the Carabao Cup quarter-final at Everton on December 23, with Cavani getting Christmas off and missing the games against Leicester on Boxing Day and home to Wolves three days later.
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