Uruguay and Inter Milan defender Diego Godin has led the professional footballers in Uruguay to condemn the English FA for its sanction on fellow Uruguayan and Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani.
Cavani was suspended for three games and fined £100,000 over an Instagram post in November for the use of the word “negrito” which was adjudged to be racial.
The professional footballers in Uruguay have now released a statement to defend Cavani and call on the FA to overturn the sanctions:
“The undersigned members of the Uruguayan Football Players Association (A.F.U.), composed of both the men and women professional and amateur sectors, including the different types, would like to state the following in response to the sanction imposed by the English Football Association on our colleague Edinson Cavani:
“Firstly, we must condemn the arbitrary conduct of the English Football Association, Far from condemning racism, the English Football Association has itself committed a discriminatory act against the culture and way of life of the Uruguayan people. The sanction shows the English Football Association’s biased, dogmatic and ethnocentric vision that only allows a subjective interpretation to be made from its particular and excluding conclusion, however flawed it may be.
“Edinson Cavani has never committed any conduct that could be interpreted as racist. He merely used a common expression in Latin America to affectionately address a loved ones or close friend. To sustain that the only way to obtain a valid interpretation in life is that which lies in the minds of the managers of the English Football Association is actually a true discriminatory act, which is completely reprehensible and against Uruguayan culture.
“We would therefore like to publicly defend Edinson Cavani’s impeccable character and of course our country’s culture. We are all against any kind of discrimination; however unfortunately, through its sanction, the English Football Association expresses absolute ignorance and disdain for a multicultural vision of the world, respectful of its plurality, by consciously, unilaterally and rigidly imposing its anti-racist rules, the basis of which we support but are obviously not realistically applicable to the case in question here. It has not just punished one person, but also our whole culture, our way of life, which is truly a discriminatory and racist act.
“Lastly, we urge the English Football Association to review its decision-making processes related to these issues immediately so that it does not commit any similar injustice ever again. Its regulations should take into account the plurality of people’s ways of life and cultures. The first rule to fight against racism is to respect such different ways of life and cultures.
“By virtue of the foregoing, we request the FA to immediately overturn the sanction imposed on Edinson Cavani and reinstate his good name and honour in the world that has been so unfairly tarnished by this reprehensible decision”
Cavani released a statement on New Year’s day and said the incident doesn’t represent his intention though he accepts the FA sanction. The Uruguay academy of letters also called on the FA to overturn the ban.
Cavani missed Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa and will miss the Carabao Cup semifinal game against Manchester City on Wednesday as well as the FA Cup game against Watford on Saturday.