LONDON — Alejandro Garnacho will face no action over his use of gorilla emojis in a post about Manchester United team-mate Andre Onana, the Football Association said on Tuesday.
Onana produced a stoppage-time penalty save at Old Trafford to secure a crucial 1-0 victory against Copenhagen in the Champions League group stage last month.
Garnacho later uploaded a photo on X, formerly known as Twitter, of United players celebrating with Onana, along with a caption featuring two gorilla emojis.
The post was quickly deleted but the Cameroon goalkeeper defended Garnacho, who he said was trying to express “power and strength”, adding: “This matter should go no further.”
The FA has punished players in the past for making racial references on social networking sites, but will not be taking any action against the Argentine international.
“We have concluded an investigation in relation to a recent post on Alejandro Garnacho’s social media,” an FA spokesperson said.
“We sought the player’s observations as part of our investigation, and he explained that the use of two gorilla emojis was intended to highlight the strength and power of his teammates — specifically Andre Onana and Harry Maguire — following the pivotal roles that they played in Manchester United’s win over FC Copenhagen.
“We are satisfied with Alejandro Garnacho’s explanation and the context that it provides, so we will not be issuing disciplinary proceedings on this occasion.
“However, we have reminded the player of his responsibilities around social media posts and the use of emojis in particular, which can be interpreted in different ways.”
Garnacho, 19, has been included in the 23-man squad for United’s clash with Copenhagen in Denmark on Wednesday. — AFP