Football/Soccer

Call for action after controversial Bernardo Silva comments

Manchester City's Bernardo Silva (above) directed the tweet at team-mate Benjamin Mendy (below right)
Padraig O Meiscill

MANCHESTER City forward Bernardo Silva should face action over a tweet directed at team-mate Benjamin Mendy, anti-discrimination group Kick It Out has said.

The Portugal international posted a message on the social media platform with a picture of a young Mendy alongside a separate image of the mascot of a Spanish confectionery brand.

Silva received immediate criticism for the post and later deleted it, with a follow-up message reading: "Can't even joke with a friend these days... You guys..."

Kick It Out issued a statement on the subject on Monday morning which read: "We are extremely disappointed to see the tweet posted by Bernardo Silva, which has since been deleted.

"Racist stereotypes are never acceptable as 'banter', and we're shocked that someone who is a role model to millions has failed to understand the discriminatory nature of his post.

"The FA have been notified and we believe that retrospective action should be taken, including mandatory education - which is vital to challenge offensive behaviour such as this."

The post comes after initial meetings were held between the English Football Association, Premier League, the EFL and Twitter following a series of online abuse aimed at black players since the start of the season.

Manchester United's Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford are among the players who have been targeted, along with Chelsea's Tammy Abraham and Kurt Zouma. The FA described the meeting as "productive and positive".

City, who have been contacted for a response, begin their quest for a third successive Carabao Cup at Preston tonight. Bernardo, speaking after the 8-0 Premier League rout of Watford, says the club have no intention of easing up against the Sky Bet Championship side at Deepdale.

Boss Pep Guardiola is likely to make a number of changes for the third round, tie but playmaker Silva, who scored a hat-trick last Saturday, claims there will be no complacency.

The Portuguese said: "We want to win, but we are away to a team that - I have checked - are doing well this season.

"People sometimes think games against Championship teams are easy, but they're not. In the last two seasons I have played for City, some of the most difficult games we have had were against teams from the Championship and, in our first season, we were knocked out of the FA Cup by Wigan from League One. We are not going to relax, we will give our best as usual."

Preston are one of the Championship's form sides and are currently third in the table as they look to return to the top flight for the first time since 1961. They have beaten Bradford and Hull to reach the third round.

Back-to-back Premier League champions City look to have got themselves back on track after suffering a shock loss to Norwich earlier this month. They eased to victory over Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine last week and then went up another level as they demolished Watford.

"It was amazing, really great work from the team," said left-back Angelino, who played as a second-half substitute against the Hornets.

"This group plays unbelievable football. That showed in the result. I'm very happy I was part of it."

It was the Spaniard's first appearance for City since the club exercised a buy-back clause to bring him back from PSV Eindhoven in the summer. He is now hoping for a further opportunity at Preston in a game that could also see 18-year-old centre-back Eric Garcia feature in the continued absence of John Stones and Aymeric Laporte.

"We will see," said Angelino.

"Every game is important for this club. We want to win everything, so every game is a final. I am really happy to be part of this, it is amazing to get chances with the group we have got.

"But I made a couple of mistakes [on Saturday] - that's my worry. I think I need to stop making stupid mistakes if I want to keep getting chances."

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access

Football/Soccer

Today's horoscope

Horoscope


See a different horoscope: