Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva has been given a one-match suspension as punishment for a racially insensitive tweet posted in September, the Football Association (FA) has confirmed.

The FA charged Silva at the start of October and the Portugal international has admitted a breach of the organisation's Rule E3.

Silva, 25, is set to miss City's home Premier League game against Chelsea after the international break, while he has also been fined £50,000 and must complete face-to-face education.

The former Monaco player tweeted – and subsequently deleted – a photo of team-mate Benjamin Mendy as a youngster and a dated image from Spanish confectionary brand Conguitos that has been criticised for its racist connotations.

A statement issued by the FA read: The Manchester City midfielder's social media activity on September 22, 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."

As part of Silva's submission to the FA following his charge, Mendy wrote a letter backing his close friend and insisting no offence had been taken.

Raheem Sterling also backed his team-mate publicly, although two lengthy and impassioned defences from manager Pep Guardiola in the aftermath appeared to inflame the matter.

In the Independent Regulatory Commission's written reasons provided to the FA, Silva's "exemplary previous good character" was acknowledged, along with an acceptance that "the player did not himself intend the post to be insulting or in any way racist", given he had "grown up in a country where both the brand and the character were familiar and considered inoffensive".

They added: "However, this was not a private jocular communication between two friends, The post was on a social media platform exposed to the 600,000 followers of a high-profile and well-respected professional footballer.

"It was quickly observed and reported upon by elements of the media. To his credit, the player removed the tweet from his account within a period of some 45 minutes or so."

Silva was voted City's player of the season in 2018-19 as they completed an unprecedented domestic treble, before starring in Portugal's triumph at the inaugural Nations League Finals.

He scored his fifth Premier League goal of the current campaign during last Sunday's 3-1 defeat to leaders Liverpool at Anfield.

Lionel Messi will be hoping to dethrone Cristiano Ronaldo at the Globe Soccer Awards after both were named among the nominees for the Best Men's Player for 2019.

Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool team-mates Alisson, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are also up for the annual honour, which is to be presented in Dubai on December 29.

Bernardo Silva, part of the Manchester City side largely snubbed at the FIFA Best awards, rounds out the seven-man field.

Juventus forward and five-time winner Ronaldo claimed the main prize for the third consecutive year in 2018.

Barcelona superstar Messi has won it once, in 2015.

United States stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan headline the contenders for the Best Women's Player title.

Lyon trio Amandine Henry, Lucy Bronze and Ada Hegerberg are all shortlisted and the French outfit have been nominated for Best Club, alongside Liverpool and Ajax.

Jurgen Klopp, Erik ten Hag, Fernando Santos and Djamel Belmadi, who guided Algeria to victory at the Africa Cup of Nations, are in contention to succeed Didier Deschamps as Best Coach, as is former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri.

Other award categories include Best Agent, Best Sporting Director and Best Revelation, designed to recognise emerging players.

Inter's Antonio Conte, ex-England manager Fabio Capello and Portugal legend Luis Figo form part of the judging panel.

Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo and Goncalo Guedes were on target as Portugal closed on a spot at Euro 2020 with a comfortable 3-0 win over Luxembourg.

Manchester City midfielder Silva scored the easiest of openers 16 minutes into Friday's Group B clash in Lisbon and Ronaldo's excellent chip in the second half doubled the lead.

Substitute Guedes added late gloss and in truth, the European champions should have won by a bigger scoreline, with Ronaldo uncharacteristically profligate prior to his goal.

Still, Fernando Santos' men were rarely troubled in the capital and, with a four-point buffer to third and just three games remaining, Portugal took another step towards qualification.

Ronaldo cleared the crossbar with an early long-ranger and Joao Felix fired wastefully wide on the half-volley from eight yards as Portugal flew out the blocks.

The inevitable breakthrough arrived when Nelson Semedo's cross ricocheted off goalkeeper Anthony Moris and allowed Silva to easily slot home.

It remained one-way traffic in the second half, with Bruno Fernandes' stinger preceding an audacious overhead-kick from Ronaldo, who also saw a bending effort well saved by Moris.

Ronaldo finally had his goal when he pounced on Maxime Chanot's woefully mishit backpass and lofted a delightful chip over Moris.

The Juventus forward had already seen a couple of penalty claims waved away and was unlucky another was not given when he was hacked by Leandro Barreiro Martins.

Ronaldo prodded another effort wide and saw a header cleared off the line but Guedes fired through a crowd of bodies in the final minute to increase the scoreline.


What does it mean? Portugal one step closer

Luxembourg were unlikely to provide a genuine challenge and so it proved against a Portugal side that really should have won by a wider margin. With a four-point gap to third-place Serbia a place at Euro 2020 is edging ever closer.

Fernandes sets the tempo

Fernandes was pick of the hosts' midfield, setting the tempo and serving as the chief creative force from deep, with Silva and Joao Felix also lively. 

I Chanot believe you did that!

Before his goal, Ronaldo was enduring a bit of a miserable evening with the shooting boots but he needed no invitation when Chanot left his side in a spot of bother. It cost Luxembourg any hope of stealing an unlikely point.

What's next?

Portugal will aim to close the gap on leaders Ukraine when they travel to Kiev on Monday. Luxembourg face a friendly with Denmark a day later.

Bernardo Silva has been granted an extension until October 21 to respond to the Football Association (FA) charge relating to his racially insensitive tweet to Manchester City team-mate Benjamin Mendy.

Silva last month tweeted – and subsequently deleted – a photo of a young Mendy and a dated image from Conguitos, a Spanish confectionary brand that has been criticised for having racist connotations. The post was captioned "Guess who?".

A week ago, the FA charged the 25-year-old playmaker with an alleged breach of FA Rule E3 on account of the post being "insulting and/or improper and/or [bringing] the game into disrepute".

It was further alleged the offence amounts to an "aggravated breach" because it included "reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin".

Silva was given until Wednesday, October 9 to provide a response, but Omnisport understands the extension of 12 days was granted following an application to the chairman of the judicial panel.

If found guilty, Silva could face a fine and/or a suspension and be enrolled on an education course.

The FA this year increased its minimum ban for instances of racist abuse during matches to six games, although this does not automatically apply to social media posts.

Silva and Mendy are firm friends from their time together at Monaco, before each signed for City in 2017. As part of a submission to the FA, in which Silva expressed regret for any hurt unintentionally caused, Mendy issued support on his team-mate's behalf – stating he took no offence over the post.

City manager Pep Guardiola and forward Raheem Sterling are among those to have defended Silva's character in the aftermath of the tweet, which was condemned by anti-discrimination pressure group Kick It Out.

Benfica have defended their former player Bernardo Silva after the Manchester City star faced criticism for a racially insensitive tweet he sent to team-mate Benjamin Mendy.

Silva has been charged by the Football Association (FA) after likening a picture of a young Mendy to the mascot of Spanish confectionery company Conguitos.

The likes of Pep Guardiola, Raheem Sterling and Tiemoue Bakayoko have offered support to the Portugal international, who faces a possible six-match ban if found guilty of racist behaviour by the FA.

Benfica, with whom Silva started his career before moving to Monaco in 2014, initially on loan, have hit out at suggestions that the 25-year-old could be in any way racist.

"Bernardo Silva is a young man who always been distinguished for his simplicity, his character and his good upbringing," Benfica stated in their weekly newsletter, published on the club's official website.

"Wherever he goes, he is always missed and always ensures that the managers and team-mates who deal with him are unanimous in complimenting his happy and spontaneous nature. In Benfica, we are enormously proud of you, Bernardo!

"Turning a simple joke between two team-mates and friends into a tweet with racist intent and opening a misconduct charge demonstrates and signals a disease of our times."

Silva has until October 9 to respond to the FA's charge.

Tiemoue Bakayoko is surprised the Twitter controversy involving his former Monaco team-mates Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy has resulted in a Football Association charge for the Portugal international.

Manchester City playmaker Silva last month tweeted – and subsequently deleted – a photo of a young Mendy and a dated image from Conguitos, a Spanish confectionary brand that has been criticised for having racist connotation. The post was captioned "Guess who?"

On Wednesday, Silva was charged with an alleged breach of FA Rule E3 on account of the post being "insulting and/or improper and/or [bringing] the game into disrepute". It is further alleged the offence amounts to an "aggravated breach" because it included "reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin".

City manager Pep Guardiola stridently defended Silva as an "exceptional person", and winger Raheem Sterling said he felt there was no racist intent in the message, although he acknowledged he could see why offence might have been caused.

Monaco midfielder Bakayoko played alongside Silva and Mendy in a previous stint with the Ligue 1 club as a swashbuckling side won the title and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2016-17.

Like Guardiola and Sterling, he alluded to the pair's strong friendship.

"I'm quite surprised and shocked that it went so far," he told Omnisport. "We all know that Bernardo and Ben are very close.

"I have been on their team, I saw them every day during three years, I know their relationship. I think it's a shame to punish them for this.

"I almost don't want to answer, because we all know how Bernardo is. He's sweet, he's very kind, he has a big heart. So no, clearly, he's not racist."

As part of Silva's submission to the FA to apologise for the tweet, Mendy defended his friend and explained he took no offence over the racially insensitive post.

Bakayoko remembers jokes between the two being a regular feature during their Monaco days.

"They were picking [on] each other, it was fair game," he said. "They like to joke about each other, but they really like each other.

"This is what matters. Now we're talking about racism between them, I can't believe it.

"But I realise that it's getting bigger, I hope it won't go as far as a suspension for a few games."

If found guilty, Silva could face a fine and/or a suspension and be enrolled on an education course.

The FA this year increased its minimum ban for instances of racist abuse during matches to six games, although this does not automatically apply to social media posts.

Bernardo Silva has been charged by the Football Association (FA) over his racially insensitive social media post about Manchester City team-mate Benjamin Mendy.

The midfielder has until October 9 to respond to a misconduct charge, which relates to an alleged breach of FA Rule E3.

Portugal international Silva last month tweeted – and subsequently deleted – a photo of a young Mendy and a dated image from Spanish confectionary Conguitos that has been criticised for its racist connotations.

The post included the caption: "Guess who?"

Silva, after receiving staunch public support from City manager Pep Guardiola, wrote to the FA to apologise and is understood to be close friends with Mendy, who did not appear to take offence.

But the governing body has initiated disciplinary proceedings against the 25-year-old, with the nature of the tweet amounting to an alleged "aggravated breach" of the rules.

An FA statement read: "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."

Guardiola has vehemently defended Silva's character, describing him as an "exceptional person," and City star Raheem Sterling offered support following the weekend win over Everton.

"It's between two friends as everyone knows," Sterling told Sky Sports. "I can see exactly why some people can get touchy on it, but in that situation Bernardo made a joke to his friend."

Benfica product Silva joined City from Monaco in 2017.

Raheem Sterling defended Bernardo Silva after the Portugal star came under fire for a racially insensitive tweet he sent to Manchester City team-mate Benjamin Mendy.

Silva tweeted – and subsequently deleted – a picture of a young Mendy and a dated image used by Spanish confectionary brand Conguitos alongside the caption "Guess who".

The caricature has been condemned for having racist connotations, though Mendy – a close friend of Silva's – expressed amusement at the post.

Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out and others condemned the tweet, which the Football Association (FA) is investigating Silva for, but Pep Guardiola staunchly backed his player in a news conference on Friday.

Guardiola said Silva was "absolutely not guilty" and Sterling has also leapt to the midfielder's defence following Saturday's 3-1 win at Everton.

"It's a situation no one needs at this moment in time," Sterling said to Sky Sports after scoring his 100th club goal in the victory.

"It's between two friends as everyone knows. I can see exactly why some people can get touchy on it, but in that situation Bernardo made a joke to his friend.

"He's not referred to his skin colour, he's not referred to his lips. Both pictures, they've both got small heads. He didn't refer to a colour. Benjamin knows, he's proud to be black. We know he hasn't referred to his colour.

"It's sad to see Bernardo be really down about it, because he's not that way inclined. They're two really good friends. It's really sad to see.

"I can understand where the criticism has come from, but I don't feel there was any intention of trying to be racist and it's not because it's my team-mates, it's just the way I view it. I don't feel there is any racism in it, but I can see where people have come from.

"Bernardo is deeply sorry about it. He's not in the wrong, for me, but I can see where people think it's wrong. We have to be smart on social media, we understand anything you say or do can be judged and it's just a really sad situation."

Asked his view on how City have handled the issue, Sterling added: "The club, I always believed, would handle the situation right.

"The sooner the FA realise that there was no discrimination the better. At not one moment did he use a negative term about his skin colour. He tried to make a joke and it wasn't the best, but we've got to move on."

Pep Guardiola defended Bernardo Silva after a tweet about Manchester City team-mate Benjamin Mendy included what was described as a "racist stereotype" by Kick It Out.

The organisation criticised Silva after he posted a photo of Mendy as a child alongside a dated image from Spanish confectionary 'Conguitos' that has been criticised for its racist connotations, with the caption: "Guess who?".

France international Mendy appeared to take the post in good humour, replying with laughing emojis and a message saying: "1-0 for you will see".

Silva, who had scored a hat-trick in an 8-0 Premier League defeat of Watford last week, deleted the message then posted: "Can't even joke with a friend these days…You guys…".

However, social media users noted the racist implications of the image and the Football Association (FA) has contacted City to ask the club for their observations over the tweet.

Guardiola feels there was no malice intended from Silva, noting the Portugal international's close relationship with left-back Mendy.

"Honestly, I don't know what will happen," Guardiola told reporters after Tuesday's 3-0 EFL Cup win at Preston North End. "They [the FA] should put their focus on another issue because they don't know which guy you are talking about.

"Bernardo is one of most lovely people I ever met in my life. He speaks four or five languages and that is the best way to understand how open-minded he is and one of his best friends is Mendy. He’s like a brother for him. 

"The image is not about the colour of the skin. He took a picture of Benjamin when he was young and he related it to this cartoon, which was quite similar for the image.

"If they want to do that [investigate] and ask for Bernardo, I think he will be open to talk. But first you have to know exactly which person you are talking about.

"There are many situations with people, with white people, and you look at a cartoon and the face is quite similar as your face and you put it in there, it is quite similar.

"I think the response from Mendy was clear after that. They are joking all the time. Maybe what I say as advice is to hide social media… if something happened it would be a mistake.

"Bernardo is an exceptional person. A guy who can speak five languages, it's because he's open-minded – nothing about the colour of the skin, nationalities or whatever."

The Football Association (FA) has written to Manchester City to ask the club for their observations following a social media post by Bernardo Silva.

Silva tweeted a photo of City team-mate Benjamin Mendy as a child alongside a dated image from Spanish confectionary 'Conguitos' that has been criticised for its racist connotations, with the caption: "Guess who?".

Mendy did not appear to take offence, replying with laughing emojis and a message saying: "1-0 for you will see".

However, other Twitter users were quick to point out the racist implications of the post, which was shared less than 24 hours after Silva scored a hat-trick in an 8-0 home win over Watford in Premier League action. 

The Portugal international deleted the entry, tweeting: "Can't even joke with a friend these days…You guys…".

Having already announced on Sunday they would be investigating the post, the FA has confirmed to Omnisport they have contacted the Premier League club for a response on the matter.

Meanwhile, Kick It Out, football's equality and inclusion organisation, called for retrospective action to be taken against the 25-year-old.

"We are extremely disappointed to see the tweet posted by Bernardo Silva, which has since been deleted," Kick It Out said in a statement.

"Racist stereotypes are never acceptable as 'banter', and we're shocked that someone who is a role model to millions has failed to understand the discriminatory nature of his post.

"The FA have been notified and we believe that retrospective action should be taken, including mandatory education – which is vital to challenge offensive behaviour such as this."

Kick It Out has condemned a tweet sent by Bernardo Silva to Manchester City team-mate Benjamin Mendy, calling for retrospective action to be taken against the Portugal international.

Bernardo Silva tweeted a photo of Mendy as a child alongside a dated image from Spanish confectionary 'Conguitos' that has been criticised for its racist connotations, with the caption: "Guess who?".

Mendy did not appear to take offence, replying with laughing emojis and a message saying: "1-0 for you will see", but other Twitter users were quick to point out the racist implications of Bernardo Silva's post.

The attacking midfielder deleted the entry before commenting: "Can't even joke with a friend these days…You guys…"

The Football Association (FA) has confirmed it will investigate the matter and Kick It Out, football's equality and inclusion organisation, wants to see punishment meted out. 

"We are extremely disappointed to see the tweet posted by Bernardo Silva, which has since been deleted. Racist stereotypes are never acceptable as 'banter', and we're shocked that someone who is a role model to millions has failed to understand the discriminatory nature of his post.

"The FA have been notified and we believe that retrospective action should be taken, including mandatory education – which is vital to challenge offensive behaviour such as this."

The tweet from Bernardo Silva came less than 24 hours after he scored a hat-trick in City's 8-0 victory over Watford, which saw Mendy make his first Premier League start since April.

The Football Association (FA) will investigate a tweet Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva sent to team-mate Benjamin Mendy.

Bernardo Silva tweeted a photo of Mendy as a child alongside a dated image from Spanish confectionary 'Conguitos' that has been condemned for its racist connotations, with the caption: "Guess who?"

Mendy did not appear to take offence, replying with laughing emojis and a message saying: "1-0 for you will see", but other Twitter users were quick to point out the racist implications of Bernardo Silva's post.

The Portugal international deleted the entry before commenting: "Can't even joke with a friend these days…You guys…"

However, the FA will look into the tweet and the City midfielder could face punishment.

Bernardo Silva's post came less than 24 hours after he scored a hat-trick in City's 8-0 victory over Watford, which saw Mendy make his first Premier League start since April.

Bernardo Silva claimed his tweet to Manchester City team-mate Benjamin Mendy that prompted accusations of racism was "a joke" as he bemoaned the response it received on social media.

The Portugal international tweeted a photo of Mendy as a child alongside a dated image from Spanish confectionary 'Conguitos' that has been condemned for its racist connotations, with the caption: "Guess who?"

Mendy did not appear to take offence, replying with laughing emojis and a message saying: "1-0 for you will see", but responses from members of the public were quick to point out the racist implications of Bernardo Silva's post.

The tweet came less than 24 hours after Bernardo Silva scored a hat-trick in City's 8-0 victory over Watford, which saw Mendy make his first Premier League start since April.

Bernardo Silva deleted it before commenting: "Can't even joke with a friend these days…You guys…"

The controversy comes during a week that representatives from the Premier League, the EFL and the FA met with Twitter to discuss the racist abuse that players including Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Yakou Meite suffered in recent months.

Kevin De Bruyne dazzled and Bernardo Silva hit a hat-trick as Manchester City put Watford to the sword 8-0 on Saturday.

The victory is City's biggest in a top-flight match – a fitting landmark to reach on the weekend the club marked their 125th anniversary.

But huge winning margins have become something approaching the norm in the Pep Guardiola era, with this latest rout the 11th time in all competitions since the start of the 2017-18 campaign City have scored six or more in a match. Six of those have come in 2019 alone.

From lower-league cup opponents unfortunately out of their depth to Champions League rivals and European trophy winners, a variety of clubs have felt City's wrath.

Spare a thought for Watford, who account for three entries on the list below – including last season's FA Cup final.

Six of the best, seventh heaven and more – City's big wins under Guardiola

2017-18

Watford 0-6 Manchester City (Premier League, 16/09/17)
Manchester City 7-2 Stoke City (Premier League, 14/10/17)

2018-19

Manchester City 6 -1 Huddersfield (Premier League, 19/08/18)
Manchester City 6-1 Southampton (Premier League, 04/11/18) 
Manchester City 6-0 Shakhtar Donetsk (Champions League, 07/11/18) 
Manchester City 7-0 Rotherham United (FA Cup, 06/01/19) 
Manchester City 9-0 Burton Albion (EFL Cup, 09/01/19) 
Manchester City 6-0 Chelsea (Premier League, 10/02/19)
Manchester City 7-0 Schalke (Champions League, 12/03/19)
Manchester City 6-0 Watford (FA Cup final, 18/05/2019)

2019-20

Manchester City 8-0 Watford (Premier League, 21/09/2019)

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City's players have nothing to prove after they returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a record 8-0 win over Watford on Saturday.

The reigning champions slipped to a shock defeat at Norwich City last weekend but were in sumptuous form against the Hornets, racing into a five-goal lead inside the opening 18 minutes.

Three more goals in the second half gave City their biggest ever top-flight win as they closed the gap to leaders Liverpool to two points, although Jurgen Klopp's side do have a game in hand.

Some questioned City's ability to win a third consecutive title after the defeat at Carrow Road, but Guardiola believes there has been an overreaction to that loss.

He told BBC's Match of the Day: "Do you think after what these guys have done for two seasons they have to prove something?

"We listened after Norwich, but people don't understand that we can lose games. Sometimes I am surprised that former players and pundits still don't understand that."

Bernardo Silva struck the first top-flight hat-trick of his career in the win and Guardiola was full of praise for the man he describes as last season's stand-out performer.

"Bernardo was the best player last season," he added. "He was extraordinary. I don't think he needs to score three goals to get the credit he deserves."

Watford, meanwhile, remain bottom of the league with just two points from their opening six games.

Quique Sanchez Flores, who returned to the club for a second spell ahead of last weekend's draw with Arsenal, attributed the heavy loss to a litany of errors from his side.

"We made a lot of mistakes," he said. "The result is very difficult [to take], but it's the consequences of mistakes in different ways. All the goals we conceded came from different things and it's difficult to play like this against Manchester City.

"We will take the best things from the Arsenal game and try to solve all the things from this game."

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