Pep Guardiola accused of false equivalence over Mike Dean and Bernardo Silva comments 7 months ago

Pep Guardiola accused of false equivalence over Mike Dean and Bernardo Silva comments

"A referee or player might make a mistake and they get abused or people are racist. It is a game, have fun."

Pep Guardiola has been accused of false equivalence after likening the abuse of referee Mike Dean to the treatment of Bernardo Silva after he was charged with an offensive tweet during last season.

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Dean received death threats after he decided to send off West Ham's Tomas Soucek in the dying moments of the Premier League game with Fulham at the weekend. He has since requested time off from officiating as a result.

Speaking ahead of his side's FA Cup meeting with Swansea on Wednesday, Guardiola condemned those who had abused the referee, but then compared it with the criticism received by Silva after a tweet he had sent to Benjamin Mendy in September 2019.

The Portugal international posted pictures of Mendy as a child alongside the mascot for a Spanish confectionery company. He was later issued with a one-game suspension and a £50,000 fine as well as being ordered to undergo education.

Although the FA’s regulatory commission accepted the tweet had not been intentionally racist, Silva was repeatedly accused of being so in the aftermath - something which Guardiola said last month caused the midfielder to 'struggle'.

"People today we are accused of many things," the City boss said on Tuesday. "Bernardo was accused of being racist when he is one of the most gentle and kind people I have met in my life.

"A referee or player might make a mistake and they get abused or people are racist. It is a game, have fun."

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Guardiola's comments, which were instantly tweeted out by BBC Sport's Simon Stone, quickly received plenty of criticism.

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