The Uruguayan Players’ Association has accused the Football Association of being discriminatory towards Uruguay’s culture after banning Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani for three matches because of a social media post.
The 33-year-old shared an Instagram story from a fan which featured a racially offensive term after United’s 3-2 win at Southampton on November 29, in which Cavani scored twice, including a stoppage-time winner. The post was later deleted and Cavani apologised.
Cavani, who was also fined £100,000, will have to complete face-to-face education after pleading guilty to the charge. He was absent from United’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa on New Year’s Day and will sit out of their upcoming clashes against Manchester City and Watford.
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The striker’s international team-mates including Lucas Torreira, who is currently on loan at Atletico Madrid from Arsenal, shared the statement on their social media accounts.
The full statement from the Uruguayan Players’ Association read: “The undersigned members of the Uruguayan Players Association (A.F.U) composed of both the men and women professional and amateur sectors, including the different types, would like to state the following in response to the sanction imposed by the English Football Association on our colleague Edinson Cavani:
“Firstly, we must condemn the arbitrary conduct of the English Football Association. Far from condemning racism, the English FA has itself committed a discriminatory act against the culture and way of life of the Uruguayan people.
“The sanction shows the English FA’s biased, dogmatic and ethnocentric vision that only allows a subjective interpretation to be made from its particular and excluding conclusion, however flawed it may be.
“Edinson Cavani has never committed any conduct that could be interpreted as racist. He merely used a common expression in Latin America to affectionately address a loved one or close friend.
“To sustain that the only way to obtain a valid interpretation in life is that which lies in the minds of the managers of the English FA is actually a true discriminatory act, which is completely reprehensible and against Uruguayan culture.
“We would therefore like to publicly defend Edinson Cavani’s impeccable character and of course our country’s culture.
“We are all against any kind of discrimination; however, unfortunately, through its sanction, the English FA expresses absolute ignorance and disdain for a multicultural vision of the world, respectful of its plurality, by erroneously, unilaterally and rigidly imposing its anti-racist rules, the basis of which we support but are obviously not realistically applicable to the case in question here.
“It has not just punished one person, but also our whole culture, our way of life, which is truly a discriminatory and racist act.
“Lastly, we urge the English FA to review its decision-making processes related to these issues immediately so that it does not commit any similar injustice ever again. Its regulations should take into account the plurality of people’s ways of life and cultures. The first rule to fight any racism is to respect such different ways of life and cultures.
“By virtue of the foregoing, we request the FA to immediately overturn the sanction imposed on Edinson Cavani and reinstate his good name and honour in the world that has been so unfairly tarnished by this reprehensible action.”
Sky Sports News has contacted the FA and anti-racism charity Kick It Out for a response to the Uruguayan Players’ Association’s statement.
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