Alejandro Garnacho facing ban using gorilla emojis Man Utd team-mate Andre Onana

Manchester United’s Alejandro Garnacho could be facing a ban for discrimination after gorilla emojis above a picture of team-mate Andre Onana were posted on his account.

The 19-year-old published an image of Onana in apparent celebration at the goalkeeper’s performance in the 1-0 Champions League win over FC Copenhagen.

Onana had saved a stoppage time penalty before the Argentinian posted the gorilla emojis alongside a picture of Onana and other members of the team.

The Football Association is understood to be seeking Garnacho’s observations on a post which has now been deleted from the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter.

On Thursday night, however, Onana moved to stop authorities from pursuing Garnacho. “People cannot choose what I should be offended by,” he wrote in a response on Instagram. “I know exactly what @Garnacho7 meant: power and strength. This matter should go no further.”

United have also been approached for comment over a potential breach of FA rules. Offensive posts have landed players bans in the past. Edinson Cavani was given a three-game ban in 2020 and fined £100,000 for using the word “n—–” in a comment on Instagram. 

Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva has also previously been fined £50,000 and banned for a match after comparing a photo of team-mate Benjamin Mendy as a child with the mascot for Spanish chocolate brand Conguitos.

After Onana’s penalty save, Erik ten Hag heaped praise on his goalkeeper for putting a difficult start to life at United behind him. The United keeper saved Jordan Larsson’s stoppage-time penalty with what proved to be the last touch of the match, ensuring Harry Maguire’s second-half header sealed a crucial 1-0 win.

“He showed personality and he knows that before was not the levels what his skills are,” manager Ten Hag said of the summer signing from Inter Milan. “He didn’t match his skills and he could do better.”

Garnacho’s post came to light as Kick It Out, the FA, Premier League, English Football League and the PFA detailed their work on the new Online Safety Act, which effectively tackles racist and other discriminatory abuse online.

“Online abuse in football has risen significantly in recent years, but new laws passed by the Government should offer some hope to all those who participate in football,” Kick It Out said. “Change will take time, but it’s a big step in the right direction to make everyone in football feel safer online.”


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