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Bernardo Silva charged by FA over Benjamin Mendy tweet
The Manchester City midfielder posted an image of a young Mendy alongside one of the brand mascot of Spanish confectionery brand Conguitos.
Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association over his social media post about team-mate Benjamin Mendy.
The Portuguese tweeted an image of a young Mendy alongside an image of the brand mascot of Spanish confectionery brand Conguitos on September 22.
He deleted the post, which has now led to an FA charge.
A statement from the governing body on Wednesday morning read: “Bernardo Silva has been charged with misconduct for a breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to a social media post on September 22, 2019.
‘It is alleged that the Manchester City player’s activity breaches FA Rule E3(1) as it was insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.”
The FA statement continued: “It is further alleged that the activity constitutes 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 midfielder has until 9 October 2019 to provide a response.”
FA guidelines state that a breach of rule E3 on social media would not immediately mean a six-match ban, as a proven offence on the pitch would.
Instead, a regulatory commission will decide what sanction it deems appropriate for the act committed.
Where the comments are “clearly pejorative and discriminatory”, match-based sanctions can be imposed.
Mandatory education courses are also to form part of any sanction for a proven offence.
On the same day as the tweet which has now resulted in an FA charge, Silva posted: “Can’t even joke with a friend these days… You guys…”
It is understood Silva wrote to the FA to express regret over the Mendy tweet, while Mendy also wrote to the governing body to say that no personal offence had been caused.
City manager Pep Guardiola also leapt to the defence of his player.
“Bernardo is one of the most lovely people I have ever met in my life,” Guardiola said last week.
Bernardo is one of the most lovely people I have ever met in my life. He speaks four or five languages - that is the best way to understand how open-minded he is - and one of his best friends is Mendy. He is like a brother for him.
- Pep Guardiola
“He speaks four or five languages – that is the best way to understand how open-minded he is – and one of his best friends is Mendy. He is like a brother for him. The image for the two is not about the colour of the skin.”
Guardiola added: “If something (a charge) happens it would be a mistake because Bernardo is an exceptional person.”
City had no comment to make at this stage regarding the Silva charge when contacted by the PA news agency.
Another of Silva’s team-mates, England forward Raheem Sterling, also spoke out in his defence last weekend.
Sterling, who has drawn praise for his strong stance against racism in football, told Sky Sports after City’s match against Everton: “I can see exactly the point where some people can get touchy-feely on it, but I feel in that situation Bernardo made a joke to his friend.
“He’s not referred to his skin colour, he’s not referred to his lips in both pictures, they’ve both got small heads and the most important thing for me is that he didn’t refer to a colour.”
Sterling added: “We all know, Benjamin knows, everyone can see that Mendy is a black lad. We’ve got to be proud to be black as well. If someone refers to our skin colour with an image, I’d be upset about that – we know what skin colour we are.
“But he hasn’t referred to his skin colour, that’s the most important thing I feel about the situation. It’s really sad to see someone like Bernardo, the whole week, be kind of down about it because he’s not that way inclined.”