Saturday 19 October 2019

Silva expresses regret over 'joke' Mendy tweet

Bernardo Silva of Man City. Photo: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images
Bernardo Silva of Man City. Photo: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

James Ducker

Manchester City playmaker Bernardo Silva has written to the English FA to express his regret for any offence by his controversial tweet about Benjamin Mendy.

Silva is facing a possible six-match ban after being accused of racial stereotyping in a social media post about his City team-mate and friend.

The Portugal star posted an image of Mendy as a child next to a picture of a mascot for a Spanish chocolate peanut brand, Conguito, that drew condemnation from Kick It Out and anti-racism campaigners.

The FA is also investigating a video of Silva asking Mendy - dressed all in black - why he was naked, that Silva posted on Instagram last summer.

Silva, 25, responded to the FA's request for observations on his contentious tweet before the 5pm deadline yesterday.

Silva is believed to be regretful that people had taken offence to a post that was supposed to be a joke among friends. It is also understood that his letter has been accompanied by a statement of support from Mendy, who said he had not been offended.

Silva deleted the tweet 45 minutes after it was published on Sunday and followed it up with the message: "Can't even joke with a friend these days." If the FA charges Silva, it is likely to recommend a ban, the length of which is uncertain. Incidents of racism on the pitch carry a minimum six-match suspension.

City boss Pep Guardiola issued a staunch defence of Silva in the wake of his side's 3-0 win over Preston North End in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.

And Guardiola - who said he had not seen the video of Silva joking about Mendy being naked - reiterated his belief that Silva had not done anything wrong and that his tweet was a "joke", despite saying the player may learn a lesson from the furore caused.

"If they believe that Bernardo is this type of player they are completely wrong," the City manager said ahead of tonight's game at Everton. "They judged one joke, I judge three years every single day with him and how he is and his friendship. It was a simple joke, but if someone is offended I can understand it. Bernardo is maybe going to take a lesson." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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