The striker joined Hebei China Fortune last year
Argentina international Ezequiel Lavezzi has apologised after promotional photos taken of him for the Chinese Super League were deemed 'racist' and offensive.
This is Argentinian international Ezequiel Lavezzi, who plays his football in China. The year is 2017. pic.twitter.com/VGxsyvDVGF— Mark Dreyer (@DreyerChina) May 12, 2017
In a statement released over the weekend, Lavezzi apologised to the Chinese people for any offence caused.
"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."
"I had no intention of insulting the Chinese people and did not do it with any bad intentions... I deeply apologise if this photo has offended the Chinese public and fans. I will be more careful in the future."
Adding to Lavezzi's statement on Sunday, Hebei China Fortune added they would not be censuring their star player.
"The club has discussed this matter with Lavezzi, who said he meant no racial offence and apologised deeply for any harmful impression that it created."
Lavezzi joined Hebei China Fortune last year from Paris Saint-Germain. The 32-year-old is one of the highest paid footballers in the World earning a reported €500,000 each week.
The striker has scored three goals this season in the opening stages of the league. Along with compatriot Carlos Tevez, Lavezzi is one of the most recognised players in Chinese football.