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Andre Onana defends Manchester United teammate Alejandro Garnacho over gorilla emoji post

The Football Association is investigating Garnacho’s social media post

Lawrence Ostlere
Thursday 26 October 2023 20:12 BST
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Alejandro Garnacho, left, posted this picture with Andre Onana alongside two gorilla emojis
Alejandro Garnacho, left, posted this picture with Andre Onana alongside two gorilla emojis (X)

Andre Onana has called for his Manchester United teammate Alejandro Garnacho not to be punished by the Football Association after the Argentine winger posted two gorilla emojis beside a picture of the Cameroonian goalkeeper.

The image, on Garnacho’s X account, showed Onana celebrating with clenched fists after his last-minute penalty save ensured United beat FC Copenhagen 1-0 in their crucial Champions League group stage match at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening.

Garnacho, 19, was criticised by some fans on social media for using gorilla emojis, which have racial connotations, and he deleted the post soon afterwards. The FA is now investigating.

Onana later posted on Instagram: “People cannot choose what I should be offended by. I know exactly what @garnacho7 meant: power & strength. This matter should go no further.”

The FA has punished Premier League players over social media posts in the past. The former United striker Edinson Cavani was handed a three-game ban and a £100,000 fine for using racial language, even though an investigation acknowledged that “he could not have known offence would be caused”.

Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva was banned for one game for comparing his teammate Benjamin Mendy with the black character of a Spanish chocolate brand, Conguitos. He was also ordered to attend an education programme.

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