Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva has been given a one-match suspension and a £50,000 ($64,160) fine as punishment for a racially insensitive tweet posted in September, the Football Association has confirmed.
Silva tweeted a photo of Mendy as a child alongside an old image from Spanish company 'Conguitos' that has been condemned for racist undertones, with the caption: "Guess who?"
Mendy did not take offense, replying with laughing emojis, but others quickly pointed out the racial aspect of Silva's remarks.
The former Benfica and Monaco midfielder deleted the entry soon after before commenting: "Can't even joke with a friend these days…You guys…"
Pep Guardiola and several City players leapt to Silva's defense, stating that the midfielder and Mendy are close friends while adding that the Portugal star is not racist.
He was charged by the FA for the post, and will now miss out on one match as a result of the social media post.
"Bernardo Silva has been suspended for one first team competitive fixture, fined £50,000 and must complete face-to-face education after admitting a breach of FA Rule E3," the FA said in a statement.
"The Manchester City midfielder’s social media activity on 22 September 2019 breached FA Rule E3(1), as it was insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute, and constituted 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 25-year-old could have been suspended for up to six matches for the incident, but Silva's intent, cooperation and lack of history of past transgressions led to his one-game ban.
"The Commission took account of the fact that there are a number of features which can properly be said to mitigate the misconduct," the statement read. "In reaching its decision the Commission has taken careful account in particular of the following matters, namely that: a) The Player did not have any knowledge of the historical connotations of the Conguitos character. b) His tweet was not intended by him to be either racist or offensive in any way.
"c) The tweet was promptly deleted by the Player. d) The Player and his Club have taken steps themselves to ensure that the Player has a greater understanding of his responsibilities on social media. e) The Player made an early admission in full cooperation with the disciplinary process. f) The Player has an exemplary character and disciplinary record."
Silva has scored five goals in 11 Premier League appearances for City this season while featuring in six other matches in other competitions.
Following the international break, City are set to face Chelsea at home on November 23 after losing to title favorites Liverpool last time out.