Juventus issue apology for tweet with offensive eye gesture
The tweet was only deleted after 25 minutes
Juventus have issued an apology after a tweet posted to their official women's team's Twitter account showed one of their players making an offensive eye gesture.
Juve's women are reigning Italian champions and are currently in Barcelona as part of their preseason preparations.
The tweet, posted on Thursday evening, featured an image of defender Cecilia Salvai posing with a training cone on her head while using her fingers to narrow her eyes.
It was later deleted, but - incredibly - remained up for 25 minutes, attracting widespread condemnation and accusations of racism.
A statement followed, insisting the tweet was not "intended to have any racial undertones":
"We sincerely apologise that our tweet, which was not meant to cause controversy or have any racial undertones, may have offended anyone," the tweet read. "Juventus has always been against racism and discrimination."
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. #DifferencesMakeTheDifference
— Juventus Women (@JuventusFCWomen) August 5, 2021
That the tweet was posted in the first place will come as a great embarrassment for Juventus, a club who pride themselves as being “at the forefront of the fight against discrimination”.
The fact it remained up for so long also offered a concerning glimpse into how unregulated the social media channels of Italy's biggest club appear to be.