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Man City’s Silva banned over 'racist' tweet comparing teammate Mendy to cartoon

Man City’s Silva banned over 'racist' tweet comparing teammate Mendy to cartoon
Bernardo Silva will miss one game and has been fined $64,000 amid a furore regarding a supposedly racially insensitive tweet in which he compared Manchester City teammate Benjamin Mendy to a character from a brand of chocolates.

Silva compared Mendy to a dark-skinned character used to promote a brand of confectionary in Portugal and Spain - a move which drew criticism from several figures within the sport, particularly given the wave of racist fan behavior which has blighted football in recent months.

Silva, however, has vigorously denied that there was a racist undertone in his social media message which, he says, was designed simply as a light-hearted jibe at his colleague. 

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As part of the punishment, Silva must also complete a course of face-to-face education after admitting to a breach of league rules.

The initial tweet was published on Silva's social media account for less than an hour before it was removed, with the player later opining that he "Can't even joke with a friend these days".

Teammate Mendy has said he did not take offense at the tweet. 

However, Silva later admitted the charge and acknowledged that some people may take offence at the "historical connotations of the Conguitos character."

The timing of the one match ban means that Silva will miss Manchester City's pivotal Premier League clash with Chelsea on November 24, though this could change if the Manchester club decide to appeal the decision. 

A statement from The FA regarding Silva's punishment said that they understood that Silva may not have been aware that the social media post could have been interpreted as racist. 

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"The player did not himself intend the post to be insulting or in any way racist," a statement read. "It is clear that the tweet was intended to be no more than a joke between close friends.

"However, this was not a private jocular communication between two friends.

"The post was on a social media platform exposed to the 600,000 followers of a high-profile and well-respected professional footballer."

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