CONMEBOL 'express solidarity' with Man United striker Edinson Cavani

South American confederation CONMEBOL ‘express their solidarity’ with Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani as it joins his Uruguay team-mates in criticising FA ban for his ‘negrito’ Instagram post

  • The FA banned the Man United striker for three games for using ‘negrito’ in a post
  • Uruguay players accused the FA of committing a discriminatory act against their culture by punishing Edinson Cavani for using the word on his Instagram story
  • CONMEBOL, the South American football confederation, has publicly backed Cavani and said the verdict ‘does not take in account cultural characteristics’

CONMEBOL, the South American Football Confederation, has publicly expressed their ‘solidarity’ with Edinson Cavani and said the Football Association’s decision to ban him for using a racial term ‘clearly does not take in account cultural characteristics’.

Cavani was hit with the suspension after using the word ‘negrito’ in an Instagram post after the club’s victory over Southampton on November 29, before taking it down and apologising. 

On Monday, his Uruguay team-mates, including Luis Suarez, released a letter emphatically condemning Cavani’s three-match ban. They went on to accuse the FA of committing a ‘true discriminatory act’ by punishing the Manchester United striker.

South American football federation CONMEBOL have joined the support for Edinson Cavani following his three match ban from the English FA for using ‘negrito’ in a social media post

In a statement on their website on Tuesday, CONMEBOL expressed solidarity with the striker

The FA said last week that Cavani’s comment was ‘improper and brought the game into disrepute’ but CONMEBOL have now made their views public as they unequivocally throw their support behind the striker in the ongoing row.  

‘CONMEBOL express their solidarity with player Edinson Cavani, who was sanctioned by the English FA,’ the confederation’s statement read on Tuesday. 

‘The punishment handed to the said Uruguay international clearly does not take in account cultural characteristics and certain terms used in everyday life in Uruguay.

‘The judgement on these types of declarations within the framework of a process which could lead to punishment for the athlete and could affect their reputation and good name, should always be carried out taking into account the context in which they were used and, above all, the cultural peculiarities of each player and each country.

Uruguay players joined forces to slam the FA on Monday, insisting they’d committed a ‘true discriminatory act’ by punishing Cavani for using a common Latin American expression’

Luis Suarez gave his emphatic support for the letter with this reaction on social media

‘CONMEBOL condemns and will always condemn to the highest possible degree, any form of racist or discriminatory act, but the particular case for which Cavani was sanctioned does not form part of those.’

The United forward, who was also fined £100,000 and ordered to complete ‘face-to-face education’, accepted his punishment from the FA but he has continued to insist he was expressing himself ‘according to my culture and way of life’ and that the post was intended to show affection towards a friend. 

CONMEBOL’s backing for Cavani comes after a powerful defence by his international team-mates, who turned the focus back onto the FA. 

In a strongly worded statement, the Uruguayan Football Players Association said: ‘We must condemn the arbitrary conduct of the English Football Association. Far from condemning racism, the English Football Association has itself committed a discriminatory act against the culture and way of life of the Uruguayan people.

‘The sanction shows the English Football Association’s biased, dogmatic and ethnocentric vision that only allows a subjective interpretation to be made from its particular and excluding conclusion, however flawed it may be.

‘Edinson Cavani has never committed any conduct that could be interpreted as racist. He merely used a common expression in Latin America to affectionately address a love one or close friend. 

Cavani chose not to contest the charge out of respect for the ‘fight against racism in football’

‘To sustain that the only way to obtain a valid interpretation in life is that which lies in the minds of the managers of the English Football Association is actually a true discriminatory act, which is completely reprehensible and against Uruguayan culture.’ 

It continued: ‘We would therefore like to publicly defend Edinson Cavani’s impeccable character and of course our country’s culture. We are all against any kind of discrimination; however unfortunately, through its sanction, the English Football Association expresses absolute ignorance and disdain for a multicultural vision of the world, respectful of its plurality, by erroneously, unilaterally and rigidly imposing its anti-racist rules, the basis of which we support but are obviously not realistically applicable to the case in question here. 

‘It has not punished one person, but also our whole culture, our way of life, which is truly a discriminatory and racist act.’

The statement also urged the FA to review it’s decision-making process and to overturn Cavani’s suspension.

United confirmed last week that Uruguayan striker Cavani chose not to contest the charge out of respect for the FA and the ‘fight against racism in football’. 

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