Manchester City's Bernardo Silva has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association over a controversial social media post comparing teammate Benjamin Mendy with a black cartoon character, reports AFP.
The Portuguese midfielder last month tweeted an image of a young Mendy alongside an image of the character representing the Spanish chocolate peanut brand Conguitos.
He deleted the post but has now been charged. A statement from the football governing body on Wednesday said "Bernardo Silva has been charged with misconduct" in relation to a social media post on September 22. The FA statement said it was alleged that the 25-year-old was responsible for an "aggravated breach" of FA rules because the tweet included a reference "whether expressed or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin." Silva, who could face a ban, has until October 9 to respond. On the same day as the tweet that has now resulted in an FA charge, Silva posted: "Can't even joke with a friend these days... You guys..."
Silva last week sent a letter to the Football Association to apologies for any offence caused by the tweet and Mendy has written in support of his friend, saying he had not taken offence at the tweet.
City manager Pep Guardiola has also defended Silva and another of his team-mates, England forward Raheem Sterling, also spoke out in his defense.
Mendy and Silva have been teammates since 2016, having spent a year together at Monaco before they both moved to City the following year.
An Instagram video posted by Silva in 2018 has also attracted criticism for alleged racist undertones. In the video, being studied by the FA, Silva asks Mendy, who is dressed in black, why he is not wearing any clothes.