Manchester City forward Bernardo Silva has been handed a one-match ban and a £50,000 fine for his social media post relating to teammate Benjamin Mendy.
Silva compared Mendy to a character featured on a pack of “Conguitos”, a sweet brand sold in Portugal and Spain in a post that appeared at 12:44 BST on 22 September, before being deleted less than an hour later.
The Football Association released a statement on Wednesday outlining Silva’s punishment, which also requires him to complete face-to-face education as a result of admitting a breach of FA Rule E3.
Manchester City posted the statement on their official website: “Bernardo Silva has been suspended for one first team competitive fixture, fined £50,000 and must complete face-to-face education after admitting a breach of FA Rule E3.
Breaking: @kickitout “extremely disappointed” & “shocked” by “offensive” Bernardo Silva tweet.
“Racist stereotypes are never acceptable as ‘banter’, and we’re shocked that someone who is a role model to millions has failed to understand the discriminatory nature of his post” pic.twitter.com/It0ruk964t
— Dan Roan (@danroan) September 23, 2019
“The Manchester City midfielder’s social media activity on 22 September 2019 breached FA Rule E3(1), as it was insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute, and constituted an “Aggravated Breach”, which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as it included reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin.”
Silva will now miss City’s match against Chelsea after the international break.
Silva avoids a six-game ban
According to the Independent, Silva’s punishment was “accepted by all” involved, though it actually could have been much more severe for the Portugal international.
FA rules state that the punishment for racism during a match is a minimum six-game ban – former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was banned for eight games when found guilty of racist behaviour toward Patrice Evra back in 2011.
But the fact that Silva’s incident was via a social media which he quickly deleted, coupled with the fact that he “did not have any knowledge of the historical connotations of the Conguitos character” weighed heavily in his favour with regards to punishment.