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FA to investigate social media post by United's Cavani

·2-min read
Premier League - Southampton v Manchester United

(Reuters) - The English FA is looking into a deleted social media post by Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani which contained a Spanish phrase that is offensive in some contexts.

The 33-year-old Uruguay international inspired United to a 3-2 comeback win at Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday, with two goals and an assist after coming off the bench at halftime.

Replying to a message of congratulations on Instagram, Cavani wrote in Spanish: "Gracias negrito". The post appeared shortly after the match and has now been deleted.

"The message I posted after the match on Sunday was intended as an affectionate greeting to a friend, thanking him for his congratulations after the game," Cavani said in a statement on the club's website.

"The last thing I wanted to do was cause offence to anyone. I am completely opposed to racism and deleted the message as soon as it was explained that it can be interpreted differently. I would like to sincerely apologise for this."

Cavani could face a minimum three-game ban if the FA deems he used discriminatory or racist language under its Rule E3.

Former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, Cavani's Uruguay team mate, received an eight-match ban for using the same word in his on-field clash with United's French defender Patrice Evra in 2011.

"It is clear to us that there was absolutely no malicious intent behind Edinson's message and he deleted it as soon as he was informed that it could be misconstrued," United said.

"Edinson has issued an apology for any unintentional offence caused. Manchester United and all of our players are fully committed to the fight against racism."

Cavani has scored three league goals for the club since joining as a free agent in the summer transfer window.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas and Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris and Ed Osmond)