Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde, who celebrated for Uruguay by pulling his eye lids back, denied that his celebration was racist.
Playing for Uruguay in U-20 World Cup against Portugal on Sunday, Valverde scored an equaliser that led to his side’s eventual victory through a penalty shootout.
His celebration in the 50th minute however caused a controversy which Valverde later claimed was not racist but a private celebration for friends. He apologised for the same in a tweet in Korean that said, “It is not a racist celebration. It was a private celebration for friends. I did not have any racist intent. I’d like to apologise.”
인종차별적 세레머니가 아니라 친구를 위한 개인적인 세레머니 었습니다. 제가 의도한 바는 인종차별이 아닙니다. 죄송합니다. pic.twitter.com/QmeZei8rmA
— Fede Valverde (@fedeevalverde) 4 June 2017
The 18-year-old celebrated after scoring the 2-2 equaliser and leading his team through to the quarterfinals.
This comes in after less than a month of Ezequiel Lavezzi joining the Chinese Super League and uploading pictures on his social media accounts with the same gesture, pulling his eye lids back.
“Per the request of the Chinese Super League, we took the official photos for the season,” he had said in a statement. “We were given instructions by the official photographer and I was trying to make some interesting photos by making some funny faces, which would be used afterwards for entertainment purposes.”