Bernardo Silva faces a ban from playing after being charged by the English Football Association.
The Manchester City midfielder was charged by the FA on Wednesday after posting a message on his Twitter account on September 22 with a photo of close friend and City teammate Benjamin Mendy next to a mascot for Spanish confectionery brand Conguitos.
He posted the message “Guess who?” above the photos before deleting it and then saying “Can’t even joke with a friend these days… You Guys…”
In a statement the FA confirmed Silva has been charged after breaching rule E3.
“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. 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 color and/or ethnic origin. The midfielder has until 9 October 2019 to provide a response.”
That has led to heavy criticism of Guardiola and his handling of the situation.
Silva will now have to either accept the charge or request a personal hearing, as it is believed he has already written to the FA along with Mendy who said he was not offended by the tweet.
An independent panel would set the punishment for Silva, with any incident of on-field discrimination automatically seeing a six-game ban imposed. Due to this being an off-field incident, different rules are likely to apply.