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Manchester United forward Edinson Cavani has apologised for any offence he might have caused.
The veteran striker proved to be the catalyst for their comeback victory over Southampton on Sunday as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watched his side claim all three points after going two goals behind.
Cavani wrote “gracias negrito!” to a friend after his goals in a now-deleted Instagram post.
If the Football Association deem his post to have included discriminatory or racist language, the 33-year-old faces a three-game ban as detailed by FA Rule E3.
United could now be forced to take on West Ham, Manchester City and Sheffield United without the in-form striker as he is investigated over the potentially 'racist' language.
The Uruguayan striker said in an official statement: “The message I posted after the match on Sunday was intended as an affectionate greeting to a friend, thanking him for his congratulations after the game.
"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 have said: “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.
"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 same term was used by Luis Suarez to Patrice Evra in 2011 which saw him banned for eight games, with the Liverpool forward arguing that it was a term of endearment in South America.
Although the post was removed, punishment could still follow, and the incident comes after Bernardo Silva was banned for one match for comparing teammate Benjamin Mendy to a cartoon figure.
The FA issued new guidelines on the use of racist language on social media before the current season, which now state that a minimum ban of three matches is in place.
Before the incident took place, Solskjaer was delighted with his performance against Southampton.
He said: "[Cavani] is a centre forward who thrives on crosses and delivery in the box. He has been in there for so many years, and he's made a difference today.
"Of course, it's great to get three points in the way we did it, the comeback, the tradition of this club, it is something this team is getting better at as well."
- Manchester United FC
- Premier League
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
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