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Silva posted a tweet that appeared to compare Mendy’s likeness to a cartoon character who features on the packaging of Conguitos, a brand of chocolate bar in Spain.
A statement from the FA read: “Bernardo Silva has been suspended for one first team competitive fixture, fined £50,000 and must complete face-to-face education after admitting a breach of FA Rule E3.
“The Manchester City midfielder’s social media activity on 22 September 2019 breached FA Rule E3(1), as it was insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute, and constituted an “Aggravated Breach”, which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as it included reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin.”
Silva, 25, had defended his actions and said: “Can’t even joke with a friend these days… you guys,” but anti-racism body Kick It Out condemned the initial tweet, saying racist stereotypes are never acceptable.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola also defended Silva in the aftermath, saying: “If something happens it will be a mistake because Bernardo is an exceptional person.
“Bernardo is one of the loveliest people I’ve met in my life. He speaks four or five languages — that’s the best way to understand how open-minded he is.
“One of his best friends is Mendy. He’s like a brother. He took a picture of Benjamin when he was young and related it with this cartoon, quite similar for the image.”