Alejandro Garnacho’s Football Association ban is looming over a social media post that involved his Manchester United teammate Andre Onana.
In a Twitter post celebrating Manchester United’s 1-0 Champions League victory over FC Copenhagen on Tuesday night, the 19-year-old Garnacho included two gorilla emojis alongside a picture of Onana, their teammates, and himself in celebration. The post has since been deleted.
The FA is aware of this particular post and has requested Garnacho’s comments regarding it.
While Manchester United has yet to respond, Onana took to social media in defense of his teammate.
On Instagram, he wrote, “People cannot dictate what offends me. I fully understand what @garnacho7 meant: power and strength. This issue shouldn’t be taken any further.”
Similar social media posts have led to punishments from the FA in the past. In 2020, United’s Edinson Cavani received a three-game ban and a £100,000 ($128,000) fine for using the word “n****o” in an Instagram comment, where he was expressing gratitude to a young fan. The phrase can be loosely translated to mean “thanks little black boy” or “guy with black hair.”
Cavani promptly deleted the comment and issued an apology. However, he was still penalized by an independent commission after admitting to an FA charge of misconduct for a serious breach of racial rules.
The commission acknowledged Cavani’s “genuine remorse” and noted that he “could not have reasonably predicted that such an offense would be caused.” It considered his limited time at United, just two months, and his lack of experience living in an English-speaking country. The commission also mentioned that Cavani had not received any media training upon his arrival in England, which would have helped him better understand cultural differences.
A year earlier, Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva received a £50,000 fine and a one-match ban for comparing a childhood photo of teammate Benjamin Mendy to the mascot of a Spanish chocolate brand called Conguitos.
Bernardo deleted the post after 45 minutes and admitted his misconduct according to the FA’s rules regarding racism.
The independent commission that decided upon Bernardo’s punishment accepted that he did not “intend the post to be insulting or racist in any way.” Due to his “exemplary character and disciplinary record,” he was given only a one-game ban. The 25-year-old was also required to attend a mandatory in-person education program.
Next, Manchester United will face Manchester City at Old Trafford on Sunday.
(Photo: Matt McNulty/Getty Images)
Michael Johnson is your soccer guru, providing extensive coverage of soccer. With a global perspective, he delivers match reports, player interviews, and insights into the beautiful game, ensuring readers stay connected to the world of soccer.