Manchester United’s Edinson Cavani has been given a three-match ban and a £100,000 fine for a social media post containing a Spanish phrase that is offensive in some contexts.
The Uruguayan, 33, pleaded guilty to a Football Association charge of using insulting and/or improper words.
The striker subsequently deleted the post and apologized when the meaning that could be attached was pointed out.
Along with the ban and fine, Cavani must also complete a “face-to-face” education program.
Cavani’s ban will begin immediately, ruling him out of United’s Premier League game with Aston Villa on New Year’s Day.
He is also set to miss the EFL Cup semi-final against Manchester City on 6 January and FA Cup third-round tie with Watford on 9 January.
Cavani issued an apology shortly after posting the message on Instagram following United’s 3-2 comeback win against the Saints.
It was also alleged “that the comment constitutes an aggravated breach” which “included reference, whether express or implied, to color and/or race and/or ethnic origin”.
In response to the ruling, a Manchester United statement said: “Despite his honest belief that he was simply sending an affectionate thank you in response to a congratulatory message from a close friend, he chose not to contest the charge out of respect for, and solidarity with, the FA and the fight against racism in football.