The English football federation (FA) sanctioned Bernardo Silva on Wednesday with a suspension match and the sentence of payment of 50,000 pounds (about 58,000 euros) for the publication of a tweet in which he compared his partner and friend Benjamin Mendy with Conguito, the comic character that symbolizes the chocolate products of the Zaragoza factory Lacasa.
"Bernardo Silva has been suspended by an official party and fined 50,000 pounds, and must submit to a face-to-face education plan after breaking Rule E3 of the FA," says the statement that informed the resolution. “The activity of the Manchester City midfielder on social networks last September 22 broke the E3 (1) rule since it was insulting and / or improper and / or defamatory of football, and also constituted an aggravated breakdown, defined in the Rule E3 (2), as it contained references, whether explicit or implicit, to race, and / or color, and / or ethnicity. ”
If the penalty is applied immediately, Silva will miss the first game played by the City, against Chelsea in Etihad on Saturday 23. The duel can decide the second place in the Premier. Now City and Chelsea occupy the second and third place respectively in the standings tied at 26 points.
The punishment imposed by the FA on Silva will impact Mendy himself, who will be deprived of one of the most decisive players of his team, the only one to score a goal on the last visit to Anfield (3-1).
Silva and Mendy, both 25, have been friends since they coincided in Monaco, where they conquered Ligue 1 together in 2017. That's where Silva says he began calling his colleague Conguito, he says, affectionately. "Bernardo is one of the most adorable people I've ever met," Guardiola defended when the scandal broke out three weeks ago and the FA began investigating the case. “He speaks four or five languages, which reflects his open-mindedness. And one of his best friends is Mendy. They are like brothers. He took a picture of Benjamin when he was a child and related it to the comics (DE CONGUITO), as he thought they were similar. ”
According to FA regulations, a player found guilty of racial discrimination within the field of play must automatically be punished with six suspension matches. Silva's case is less serious since it occurs outside the field. It is not known if Mendy's apologies helped to soften the punishment, which he replied to the tweet with smiley emoticons and addressed the FA in a letter to justify his partner.
Silva withdrew the tweet immediately after its publication. Spontaneous repentance and apologies helped reduce the penalty. The FA argues the existence of mitigating since the player says, "I had no knowledge of the historical connotations of the character of Conguitos." The panel adds that Silva "had no intention of making his tweet racist or offensive in any way."