The English Football Association has charged Bernardo Silva with misconduct over a tweet he sent to his teammate, Benjamin Mendy.
The Manchester City midfielder compared his teammate to the character on a packet of Conguitos in a tweet. Conguitos is a sweet brand available in Spain and Portugal, and the brand’s logo looks like a monkey.
Racism is becoming very common in football, and it lead people to suspect that Bernardo was racially abusing Mendy.
According to the FA, the 25-year-old midfielder was alleged to have committed an “aggravated breach” of FA rules as it included the reference “expressed or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin”.
Silva has until the 9th of October to respond to the charge.
Bernardo posted the tweet at 12:44 BST on 22 September, but he later deleted it at 13:30. He followed up with another tweet that reads, “Can’t even joke with a friend these days.”
Also, he wrote to the governing body. He said he regrets that his social media post may have unintentionally offended people. Meanwhile, the FA has subsequently contacted City for their observations.
An anti-discrimination group criticised the post. The group, therefore, urged the FA to act on it, adding that racist stereotypes are unacceptable as banter.
The FA on Wednesday in a statement said Silva’s activity is alleged to have been insulting, or improper, or brought the game into disrepute.
Guardiola, Sterling back Silva
Silva has got the backing of his teammates, Raheem Sterlin and coach, Pep Guardiola over the incident. The duo said it would be a “mistake” to punish the playmaker for the tweet.
“There is no intentional racism. It’s not because they are my teammates and I don’t feel there is any racism in it.” Raheem Sterling said in Barnando’s defence.
“I can understand why criticism has come. I can see where people are coming from. Bernardo doesn’t need to be sorry about it, he’s not in the wrong for me but I can see where people think it is,” Sterling added.
Mendy also defended Bernardo, he said he did not feel offended by the tweet.
The duo had been friends, having played together at Monaco before both joining City in 2017.
In addition, Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola said, “If someone is affected or feels bad about that tweet or any comments, it can happen. People judging Bernardo don’t know him. He is an exceptional person, exceptional. Bernando likes to be involved in different situations“.
“Focus on other issues, not Bernardo. It was just a joke. The same happened a thousand times with white people. It was a cartoon. If people think it’s the opposite then Bernardo and City are open.” Pep added.
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