Barcelona forwards Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann have apologised for a 2019 video appearing to mock hotel staff in Japan but denied their comments were racist.
The video, recorded by Dembele during Barcelona’s pre-season tour of Japan ahead of the 2019-20 season, was leaked on social media and showed both players laughing at a group of hotel staff who were working to fix a television.
“It all took place in Japan. It could’ve taken place anywhere on the planet and I would’ve used the same expression,” Dembele wrote on Instagram on Monday.
“I was therefore not targeting any community. I just happened to use this type of expression with my friends regardless of their origins.
“This video has since been made public. I appreciate therefore that it could’ve hurt the people present in these images….