Edinson Cavani deleted his Instagram post after Manchester United’s 3-2 win at Southampton after being told it could be considered offensive.
The striker played a key role in United’s stunning comeback at St Mary’s, scoring twice and laying on the other, and he took to social media after the game.
He reposted a friend’s message on Instagram and included a thank you that included a term in Spanish which could be deemed discriminatory or racist language.
While Cavani used the term in an affectionate manner and it is a widely used phrase in South America, it can have a different connotation in other parts of the world.
The 33-year-old was made aware of that soon after the post came to light and he removed it from his Instagram account.
The Football Association are now investigating Cavani’s post and if they decide to pursue the case they will ask the United forward for his observations, where he is likely to explain that it was meant as an affectionate post.
That might not be enough to avoid a ban, however. FA Rule E3 dictates that any social media message that includes a reference to a person’s ethnic origin, colour, race or nationality, will be regarded as a potentially aggravating factor in any punishment. The owners of social media accounts are responsible for anything posted from that account, whether by themselves or by a third party.
The FA have recently introduced new guidance on racist language or behaviour on social media posts and if Cavani is charged and found guilty he could be banned for three games.