Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva has been charged by the FA with improper conduct after sending a racially insensitive tweet to team-mate Benjamin Mendy.
Silva was widely condemned after comparing Mendy to the mascot of Spanish confectionery brand Conguitos last month before deleting the Twitter post 45 minutes later.
A statement from the governing body on Wednesday morning read: “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 colour and/or ethnic origin.
‘The midfielder has until 9 October 2019 to provide a response.”
FA guidelines state that a breach of rule E3 on social media would not immediately mean a six-match ban, as a proven offence on the pitch would.
Instead, a regulatory commission will decide what sanction it deems appropriate for the act committed.
Where the comments are ‘clearly pejorative and discriminatory’, match-based sanctions can be imposed.
Mandatory education courses are also to form part of any sanction for a proven offence.
It is understood Silva wrote to the FA to express regret over the Mendy tweet, while Mendy also wrote to the governing body to say that no personal offence had been caused.
A video also surfaced with the Portuguese international once asking Mendy why he wasn’t wearing any clothes – even though he was dressed in all black attire.
The charge comes amid huge support for Silva from his manager Pep Guardiola and team-mate Raheem Sterling over the issue.
Despite calls for an apology from Silva and City, Guardiola repeatedly insisted that it was shared was a joke and well-intended.