Juventus have been forced into an apology after a tweet was posted on their women’s team’s official account which showed one of their players making an offensive eye gesture.
The post was live for around 25 minutes – to the astonishment of thousands on social media – before it was deleted. The tweet attracted universal condemnation, with the club being accused of “blatant racism”.
Juventus then posted an apology which read: “We sincerely apologise that our tweet, which was not meant to cause controversy or have any racial undertones, may have offended anyone. Juventus has always been against racism and discrimination.”
The offensive tweet showed Cecilia Salvai using her fingers to narrow her eyes while she also wore a red training cone on her head.
The US sports commentator Keith Olbermann tweeted: “Another one of those “we’re sorry if YOU are offended” non-apology apology. It’s blatant racism, Juventus. Acknowledge it, apologise, ask for forgiveness.”
Later that evening, Orlando Pride posted a message on social media with the England striker Jodie Taylor wearing a T-shirt displaying the words “Stop Asian hate”.
Juventus women are the reigning Serie A champions, having won the previous four titles. They are now coached by the former Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro.
Earlier this year Juventus described themselves as being “at the forefront of the fight against discrimination”.