Bernardo Silva has been charged by the Football Association over a tweet he posted in reference to team-mate Benjamin Mendy. The Portuguese star has done relatively well this season but his tweet has kicked up a controversy which has seen Raheem Sterling and Pep Guardiola defend his actions.
Bernardo Silva tweeted an image of a young Mendy alongside the brand mascot of a Spanish confectionery brand Conguitos after a hat-trick against Watford. The tweet was supposed to be an inside joke between the two Manchester City teammates, with Mendy even replying that he would get Silva back. However, it was reported to the FA by football’s anti-discriminatory body Kick It Out, who condemned the tweet and it has now lead to an FA charge.
The Portuguese midfielder now has one week to respond to the charges which could see him face a six-match ban if found guilty. A statement released by the FA went on to read that Silva has been charged with misconduct in relation to the post.
"Bernardo Silva has been charged with misconduct for a breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to a social media post on September 22, 2019. It is alleged that the Manchester City player's activity breaches FA Rule E3(1) as it was insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute. It is further alleged that the activity constitutes 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. The midfielder has until 9 October 2019 to provide a response," a statement from the governing body said on Wednesday.
Sky Sports reports that the fact that the incident has been classed as “aggravated” does make it a serious issue but discrimination on social media doesn’t trigger an automatic ban. It would if Silva made the same comments on the field, but it has been classed as an off the field charge, which would see the FA make a recommendation and not a decision. That decision would ultimately come down to an independent panel Sky Sports further added.