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Alejandro Garnacho could be banned for now deleted social media post

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Alejandro Garnacho, the young winger from Manchester United, might be at risk of disciplinary action following a controversial post he made and subsequently deleted on platform X concerning Andre Onana.

Onana, hailing from Cameroon, played a pivotal role in Manchester United’s narrow 1-0 win over FC Copenhagen on Tuesday night, saving a crucial penalty during injury time. This heroic act was acknowledged by several of his teammates on social media, including Garnacho.

The 19-year-old Argentine took to platform X to share a celebratory image with Onana, but unfortunately, his post included two gorilla emojis, which led to an immediate backlash.

Realising his mistake, Garnacho first tried to amend the post by removing the emojis while keeping the picture intact. However, he eventually decided to delete the post entirely. Despite being live for just about 15 minutes past midnight UK time, the post didn’t go unnoticed.

This incident has now caught the attention of the Football Association, which could potentially charge Garnacho for what they are likely to interpret as an ‘aggravated breach’ of their social media guidelines.

This situation brings to mind a similar incident from 2020, involving Edinson Cavani, a former Manchester United player. Cavani faced a three-game suspension and was fined £100,000 by the FA for responding to a friend’s message on Instagram with the Spanish term ‘negrito,’ translating to ‘black’.

Despite quickly deleting the post and offering an apology, once aware of the term’s implications, and stating his absolute opposition to racism, Cavani was still mandated to attend a training course as per the FA’s orders.


Cases involving media comments or comments made on social networking sites are charged under FA Rule E3(1). Should the comments include a reference to any one or more of a person or person’s ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation or disability, these are considered ‘aggravating factors’ and FA Rule E3(2) may apply. This allows for a Regulatory Commission to consider the imposition of a doubled sanction.
Participants are deemed responsible for any postings on their account. The fact that a posting may have been made by a third party will not necessarily prevent disciplinary action being taken.
In addition, re-tweeting another person’s posting may lead to disciplinary action if the original comment was improper.
Finally, deleting an inappropriate posting, whilst advisable, does not necessarily prevent disciplinary action being taken.
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