Bernardo Silva has been banned for one match and fined £50,000 following a controversial social media post regarding Manchester City teammate Benjamin Mendy.
Silva in September had tweeted – and subsequently deleted – a photo of a young Mendy and a dated image from Conguitos, a Spanish confectionary brand that has been criticised for having racist connotations. The post was captioned "Guess who?".
A statement from the FA 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."
The FA charged the 25-year-old playmaker with an alleged breach of FA Rule E3 on account of the post being "insulting and/or improper and/or [bringing] the game into disrepute".
It was further alleged the offence amounts to an "aggravated breach" because it included "reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin".
Silva and Mendy are firm friends from their time together at Monaco, before each signed for City in 2017. As part of a submission to the FA, in which Silva expressed regret for any hurt unintentionally caused, Mendy issued support on his team-mate's behalf – stating he took no offence over the post.
City manager Pep Guardiola and forward Raheem Sterling are among those to have defended Silva's character in the aftermath of the tweet, which was condemned by anti-discrimination pressure group Kick It Out.
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