Bernardo Silva Facing Six-Game Ban For 'Insulting' Benjamin Mendy Tweet
Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva has been charged with "an aggravated breach" of FA rule E3 for his tweet about teammate Benjamin Mendy.
The FA allege that Silva's social media post, which compared a picture of a young Mendy to a cartoon character from Spanish chocolate peanut brand Conguitos, "was insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute".
A statement from the English football governing body read: "Bernardo Silva has been charged with misconduct for a breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to a social media post on 22 September 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 Portugal international has until 9 October to respond to the charge and could be facing a six-game ban.
Silva posted the side-by-side picture on his Twitter on 22 September, a day after scoring his first ever career hat-trick in City's 8-0 thrashing of Watford.
He then elected to delete the tweet after receiving backlash for what people perceived to be 'offensive' and 'racist', posting a second tweet saying, "Can't even joke with a friend these days... You guys..." accompanied with a face-palm emoji.
Mendy, who Bernardo played with at Monaco before the pair moved to Manchester in the same summer, did not take offence and wrote to the FA to defend his colleague.
Former Benfica man Silva also wrote a letter of apology to the FA, who are also investigating an Instagram video in which he asked Mendy - dressed in black attire - why he wasn't wearing any clothes.
City boss Pep Guardiola has publicly backed his player in various press conferences and post-match interviews.
"I don't think Bernardo has to learn' Guardiola stated after the win over Everton on Saturday, as per the Daily Mail.
"It was a joke but if someone is offended he has apologised.
"It is tough because the people and media are saying he is racist. I wouldn't like to be accused of that because it's not true. Mendy is like a brother to him, a real friend.
"He's an exceptional person, exceptional. It's not easy to live in that position where people can think he's not. So we have to fight every single day, about discrimination, racism, sexual abuse and all bad things.
"Every single day in our society we have to fight for that but we have to be careful because we are accusing an exceptional person of being something he's not. He has a family and that's why it is really unfair. I am so disappointed with how he has been treated."