Bernardo Silva charged with misconduct by FA over tweet in reference to Benjamin Mendy

Bernardo Silva has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association over a tweet he posted in reference to Manchester City team-mate Benjamin Mendy.

The Portuguese tweeted an image of a young Mendy alongside an image of the brand mascot of Spanish confectionery brand Conguitos on September 22.

He deleted the post before posting a second tweet which said, “Can’t even joke with a friend these days… You Guys…”.

Football’s anti-discriminatory body Kick It Out condemned the tweet which has now led to an FA charge, to which Silva has until October 9 to respond.

Due to the nature of the FA charge, Silva could face a six-match ban if found guilty.

“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,” a statement from the governing body said on Wednesday.

“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.”

City boss Pep Guardiola defended Silva on two occasions over the incident, calling him an “exceptional person”.

Silva wrote a personal letter to the FA after the governing body made contact with City to seek their observations as part of the investigation.

The letter was supported by a statement issued by Mendy himself, who declared he had not taken any offence over the social media post.

Bernardo Silva has not been found guilty of wrongdoing, but this is a significant step. Football Association disciplinary officials have assessed his social media posts and determined that they are serious enough to bring about a charge.

The fact it is classed as “aggravated” makes it even more serious. However, discrimination on social media does not trigger an automatic six-match ban, as if it were on the pitch. This is classed as an off-field charge. The FA would make a recommendation, but it is ultimately down to an independent panel.

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