Alejandro Garnacho will face no disciplinary action from the Football Association (FA) over his use of a gorilla emoji on social media following Manchester United’s win over FC Copenhagen.
Andre Onana saved a penalty in the last minute to secure the victory, after enduring a number of tough games between the posts for his new club. It was a significant moment for the goalkeeper; one which saw him earn plaudits from across the footballing world.
🔴🇦🇷 FA have been investigating into Garnacho’s social media post in which he used gorilla emojis over a picture of Andre Onana's penalty save.
🇨🇲 Onana replies: “People can’t choose what I should be offended by. Garnacho meant power and strenght. This should go no further”. pic.twitter.com/k6kea9Iwgz
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) October 26, 2023
The use of the gorilla emoji by Garnacho, in reference to Onana, created understandable controversy, however.
The goalkeeper was quick to publicly defend his team-mate, stating he knew “exactly what [Garnacho] meant: power and strength” and implored that the matter “should go no further.”
Evidently, it was an unintentional decision by Garnacho who was simply attempting to praise his goalkeeper, but used a problematic emoji to do so.
The FA announced they were investigating the matter given the serious nature of the incident, rather than the reality of it. And it appears this discrepancy led to the footballing authority’s decision today to take no further action against Garnacho.
A spokesperson from the FA released this statement about the matter:
“We have concluded an investigation in relation to a recent post on Alejandro Garnacho’s social media. We sought the player’s observations as part of our investigation, and he explained that the use of two gorilla emojis was intended to highlight the strength and power of his teammates – specifically Andre Onana and Harry Maguire – following the pivotal roles they played in Manchester United’s win over FC Copenhagen.
“We are satisfied with Alejandro Garnacho’s explanation and the context that it provides, so we will not be issuing disciplinary proceedings on this occassion. However, we have reminded the player of his responsibilities around social media posts and the use of emojis in particular, which can be interpreted in different ways.
“We also intend to liaise with Kick It Out and the PFA to discuss other potential issues around the use of emojis and similar forms of messaging, and education that can be provided about them.”