Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva has been handed a one-match ban and a £50,000 fine from the FA for his controversial tweet to Benjamin Mendy.
Silva was originally charged with misconduct by the FA in October after the Portuguese tweeted an image of a young Mendy alongside an image of the brand mascot of Spanish confectionery brand Conguitos, with the caption “Guess who?”, on September 22.
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The 25-year-old then deleted the post prior to tweeting a follow-up response to say: “Can’t even joke with a friend these days… You Guys…”.
An FA statement on Wednesday read: “Bernardo Silva has been suspended for one first-team competitive fixture, fined £50,000 and must complete face-to-face education after admitting a breach of FA Rule E3.
“The Manchester City midfielder’s social media activity on 22 September 2019 breached FA Rule E3(1), as it was insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute, and constituted an “Aggravated Breach”, which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as it included reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin.”
As part of the further written reasons for the FA’s decision, the governing body wrote that the player found he “had no previous knowledge of the adverse connotations linked by some to the brand.”
Their findings concluded that: “The tweet had been intended as a joke between team-mates and was taken in exactly that spirit by the intended principal recipient, Mr. Mendy.”
The FA said the minimum six-game ban for such a breach of the rules does not apply here because: “This Commission is not bound to pass a suspension of at least six matches for this aggravated breach by reason of the fact that the communication was via social media.”
The backlash to the incident was made further problematic by an Instagram story posted by Silva last year, in which the midfielder said Mendy was “completely naked” – despite being fully dressed in black – which has re-emerged since his post in September.
Anti-racism charity Kick It Out called out Silva for the tweet, whilst his former club Benfica defended the midfielder following his social media activity at the time.
Silva’s manager Pep Guardiola backed him twice following his actions, while his team-mate Raheem Sterling said “Bernardo made a joke to his friend.”
Former England international striker John Barnes also told Sky Sports News that the accusations facing Silva were “ridiculous.”
Silva and Mendy both featured in the same AS Monaco side, prior to the pairs’ arrival at the Etihad Stadium in 2017.
The Portuguese midfielder has scored five times in 17 appearances for City in all competitions this season and found the net in Guardiola’s side’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.
Silva will miss Manchester City’s clash with Chelsea on November 23, live on Sky Sports Premier League.
Source: Sky Sports