Juventus women have been forced to apologise after posting a picture of player who appeared to mock asian people by wearing a training cone on her head while squinting her eyes.
The post on the club's Twitter account - which has now been deleted but was left up for 20 minutes - provoked fury on social media after the female player in question appeared to use the training ground apparatus to imply a traditional rice hat.
In their initial post, the club had used an emoji of a squinting face followed by two hands pointing at it to mimic the same pose as the player in the photo.
In a statement on Twitter, Juventus women said they were 'always 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,' the statement read. 'Juventus has always been against racism and discrimination. #DifferencesMakeTheDifference.'
Juventus won the women's Italian league last season and were one of the first teams to set up a women's side in Italy.
Fans have been taken aback by the post, with some describing it as 'crude racism' and 'sheer stupidity'.
One wrote: 'I'm not even mad at that racist tweet by the Juventus women. Just blown away by the sheer amount of stupidity at the thought of posting it. I mean, who thought THAT was a good idea? Am I wrong for being desensitized about racism towards Asians?'
Another said: 'Don't know who is on the social media team for Juventus women, but that is very, very silly. That tweet had to go through so many people but was still sent.'
And one user took issue with Juventus women's apology, pointing out that the club had failed to explain why the image was uploaded.
'This is the 'apology' from Juventus women, no explanation whatsoever as to why the picture was taken or posted in the first place.'
The women's outfit was founded in 2017 and has gone on to win the league title four times, as well as the Coppa Italia in 2019 and two Italian Super Cups.
The team are currently managed by former Arsenal women's boss Joe Montemurro.