Alejandro Garnacho could be banned after a controversial post on X (Picture: Getty Images)
Garnacho posted a picture of Red Devils goalkeeper Andre Onana celebrating his late penalty save against FC Copenhagen in the Champions League earlier this week, with two gorilla emojis.
The Argentine deleted the post soon after posting, but now faces a charge from the Football Association as the post is likely to be deemed an ‘aggravated breach’ of its rules on social media behaviour, particularly with regard to racially sensitive posts.
Onana has spoken out in defence of his teammate, posting on Instagram: ‘People cannot choose what I should be offended by.
‘I know exactly what Garnacho meant: power and strength. This matter should go no further.’
United manager Ten Hag was asked if he was concerned about the situation at a press conference on Friday afternoon and said: ‘Not [concerned] in this moment.
‘We are talking with the FA, what you see, I can confirm that and I want to emphasise we are together, we are united, you saw that with the post of Andre.’
In 2020, Edinson Cavani was given a three-match ban and fined £100,000 after using the Spanish term ‘negrito’, which translates as ‘black’, in reply to a friend’s message on Instagram.
Although the Uruguayan swiftly deleted the post and released a statement apologising, he was nevertheless handed a ban and ordered to undergo a training course by the FA.
FA Rules on social media posts
Cases involving media comments or comments made on social networking sites are charged under FA Rule E3(1). Should the comments include a reference to any one or more of a person or person’s ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation or disability, these are considered ‘aggravating factors’ and FA Rule E3(2) may apply. This allows for a Regulatory Commission to consider the imposition of a doubled sanction.
Participants are deemed responsible for any postings on their account. The fact that a posting may have been made by a third party will not necessarily prevent disciplinary action being taken.
In addition, re-tweeting another person’s posting may lead to disciplinary action if the original comment was improper.
Finally, deleting an inappropriate posting, whilst advisable, does not necessarily prevent disciplinary action being taken.
Similarly, in 2019, Bernando Silva was handed a one-game ban for posting a picture of then Manchester City team-mate Benjamin Mendy alongside a racially insensitive cartoon character from a Spanish chocolate brand.
Despite Mendy offering a defence of his team-mate in the FA’s investigation, he was nevertheless reprimanded and handed a £50,000 fine in addition to the one-game ban.
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The Red Devils boss reacts to the controversy.