The Uruguayan shared an Instagram story from a fan that featured a racially offensive term after United’s 3-2 win at Southampton on November 29 but later deleted the post and also apologised.
Manchester United explained that the word was used in an affectionate manner and has different connotations in Cavani’s home country of Uruguay.
However, the FA has probable cause to charge the striker with a breach of their Rule E3, alleging his post was “insulting and/or abusive and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.”
The governing body added: “It is further alleged that the comment constitutes an Aggravated Breach, which is defined in FA Rule E3.2, as it included reference, whether express or implied, to colour and/or race and/or ethnic origin.”
Cavani has been given until January 4 to respond to the charge and if found guilty, he faces at least a three-match ban.
Following the FA’s decision, United released a statement saying: “Manchester United and all of our players are fully committed to the fight against racism and we will continue to work with the FA – along with other governing bodies and organisations, and through our own campaigns – in that regard.
“We note the FA decision today to charge Edinson Cavani for his social media reply to a friend’s message of congratulations following the Southampton game.
“Edinson and the club were clear that there was absolutely no malicious intent behind the message, which he deleted and apologised for as soon as he was informed that it could have been misconstrued.
“The player and the club will now consider the charge and respond to the FA accordingly.”
Cavani issued an apology immediately after deleting the post, saying: “The message I posted after the game on Sunday was intended as an affectionate greeting to a friend, thanking him for his congratulations after the game.
“The last thing I wanted to do was cause offence to anyone. I am completely opposed to racism and deleted the message as soon as it was explained that it can be interpreted differently. I would like to sincerely apologise for this.”