November 14 – Manchester City’s Portuguese midfielder Bernardo Silva has been suspended for one match – the key Premier League clash with Chelsea – over a tweet he sent to team-mate Benjamin Mendy, and fined £50,000.
Silva compared Mendy to the chocolate-coloured peanut character on a packet of Conguitos – a sweet brand available in Spain and Portugal. He was alleged to have committed an “aggravated breach” of FA rules as it included reference “expressed or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin”.
The two City stars are close friends but the tweet was quickly deleted and replaced with another which stated: “Can’t even joke with a friend these days….”
Nevertheless he was criticised by anti-racism bodies and the FA said his social media activity was “insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute”.
An FA commission accepted Silva “did not himself intend the post to be insulting or in any way racist” and was a “joke between close friends.”
But the FA verdict added “that his was not a private jocular communication between two friends. The post was on a social media platform exposed to the 600,000 followers of a high-profile and well-respected professional footballer.”
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