Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola announced Friday November 22nd his team’s midfielder Bernardo Silva is not racist, after the player posted a tweet comparing teammate Benjamin Mendy to a black cartoon character.
Meanwhile, Guardiola reluctantly accepted the one-match ban on the Portuguese star.
AFP reported that Bernardo Silva will miss Man City’s coming match at home to Chelsea on Saturday November 23rd, after the FA found Silva guilty of an aggravated breach of rules, because his tweet included a reference "whether expressed or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin."
Last September, Silva tweeted an image of a young Mendy alongside an image of the character representing the Spanish chocolate peanut brand, Conguitos, then he deleted it shortly afterwards.
Silva defended himself, saying it was meant as a joke between friends, but he has still been banned, fined £50,000 ($64,000), and must complete face-to-face education as part of his punishment.
"In this situation, the less important thing is the fact that we are going to miss him. He has been accused of something he's not," Guardiola said.
Guardiola also confirmed that Silva will be careful with social media from now on.
“I'm pretty sure Bernardo will accept this punishment but he is not what he is accused of being." Guardiola added.
Manchester City will take on Chelsea at the Etihad on Saturday November 23rd.
Chelsea are in the third place on the League table with 26 points, one point and one place above City.