MX23RW : Thursday, December 3 19:07:29| >> :120:9364:9364:

Edinson Cavani apologises for controversial social media message

Edinson Cavani apologises for controversial social media message
© Reuters
The Uruguay striker says he is 'completely opposed to racism' and Man Utd state there was 'no malicious intent' behind the message.

Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has apologised for the social media message he posted following his match-winning performance at Southampton on Sunday.

The Uruguay international inspired United’s comeback 3-2 victory over Southampton with two goals and an assist after coming off the bench at half-time.

Replying to a message of congratulations on Instagram, Cavani used the Spanish term ‘negrito’, which translates as ‘black’.

The 33-year-old insists he is “completely opposed to racism”, having deleted the post after he had been made aware of the connotations.

“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,” he said in a statement.

“The last thing I wanted to do was cause offence to anyone. 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 also issued a short statement backing Cavani.

“It is clear to us that there was absolutely no malicious intent behind Edinson’s message and he deleted it as soon as he was informed that it could be misconstrued,” it read.

“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 Football Association – which is aware of the matter and will investigate – issued guidelines ahead of this season clamping down on racist and discriminatory language and behaviour, with offences on social media carrying a minimum three-game ban.

Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out released a statement regarding Cavani’s post and again called for overseas players to be educated on language which may cause offence in the UK.

“We are aware of a comment made last night on social media by Edinson Cavani that, in its native tongue, can be offensive in some contexts,” it read.

Cavani's injury-time header secured the three points for Man Utd.
Cavani’s injury-time header secured the three points for Man Utd (Mike Hewitt/PA)

“We understand that the FA is investigating and the club and player are co-operating with that investigation. We await the outcome of that investigation.

“As we have said before, we believe that it would be helpful for overseas players, coming to England, to have routine education on language that may be unacceptable in this country.”

Giving his thoughts on the matter at a press conference held by BT Sport, former Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott said: “Everyone talks about the educational policy and protocol when it comes to racism, and this is an opportunity.

“I don’t think we should allow players to come into the league and use terminology used and deemed OK in their cultures – it’s not acceptable here regardless.

Joleon Lescott has stressed the importance of education (Mike Egerton/PA).
Joleon Lescott has stressed the importance of education (Mike Egerton/PA)

“I’m not singling out Cavani – I think we’ve seen it before. (City’s) Bernardo Silva had an incident as well (last season).

“It’s an opportunity for the FA, the Premier League, whoever it may be to educate people on arrival of terms and things we can and can’t say here.

“We don’t let players hide behind the fact they drive on a different side of the road when they arrive here, they have to adhere to our laws, and I think the kind of ruling in place is not acceptable at the moment. I think as governing bodies they need to look at it.”

Lescott added: “I don’t think he (Cavani) meant any kind of real offence, but there are going to be people who find that offensive so there obviously has to be some kind of explanation towards him.”

Former United defender Wes Brown said: “I can’t really tell you how people speak to you in South America. I know this has happened a few times now.

Cavani joined United last month after seven seasons with Paris St Germain, who United face in the Champions League on Tuesday (Andrew Milligan/PA).
Cavani joined United last month after seven seasons with Paris St Germain, who United face in the Champions League on Tuesday (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“Sometimes when you are speaking to friends things can get taken out of proportion. We just have to wait to see what happens there.”

The former Paris St Germain forward moved to Old Trafford in the summer on a free transfer and scored his first Premier League goal in the recent win at Everton.

He was introduced at half-time at Southampton with United trailing 2-0, providing an assist for Bruno Fernandes to pull one back before equalising himself and heading home a stoppage-time winner.

:: BT Sport Monthly Pass lets customers watch all UEFA Champions League fixtures for the next 30 days for a simple fee of £25 with no contract. For more info visit


Click here for more stories about Edinson Cavani

Click here for more stories about Manchester United

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
1Tottenham HotspurSpurs106312191221
4Leicester CityLeicester106041914518
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham105231711617
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves105231111017
9Manchester UnitedMan Utd95131616016
10Aston Villa95042013715
11Manchester CityMan City94321511415
12Leeds UnitedLeeds104241517-214
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle104241215-314
15Crystal Palace104151215-313
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton102441416-210
18West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom10136718-116
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd10019416-121

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!