Uruguayan academics have blasted the FA’s decision to ban Edinson Cavani for three matches following the use of what they considered to be a racially offensive term.
Cavani commented ‘gracias negrito’ on a friend’s Instagram post before hastily deleting it and apologising for any offence caused.
But the FA found that the comment was an ‘aggravated breach’ of its rules because it included ‘reference, whether express or implied to colour and/or race and/or ethnic origin’.
They fined the striker £100,000 and ordered him to complete a two-hour face-to-face online education course to improve his cultural awareness.
However, the Uruguayan Academy of Letters has denounced the punishment.
‘The National Academy of Letters declares its most energetic rejection of the sanction and warns about the lack of cultural knowledge and linguistics that that FA reveals when reaching such a questionable resolution,’ the academic institution said in a statement (via Goal.com).
‘The English Football Association has committed a serious injustice with the Uruguayan sportsman … and has shown its ignorance and error in ruling on the use of language, and in particular Spanish, without noting all its complexities and contexts.
‘In the context that it was written, the only value that can be given to negrito – and particularly because of the diminutive use – is affectionately.’
Cavani has accepted the ban, saying ‘I apologise if I offended someone with an expression of affection towards a friend, nothing further in my intention. Those who know me know that my effort always seeks the simplest joy and friendship!
‘My heart is at peace because I know that I always expressed myself with affection according to my culture and way of life.’
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