An apology has been issued on behalf of Chelsea player Mykhailo Mudryk after he appeared to use the N-word in a video posted on social media.
The forward, who joined Chelsea from Shakhtar Donetsk this month in a deal worth €70 million, was reciting the lyrics to a song on TikTok in a post from last year.
He has now deleted the video.
"Mykhailo is deeply sorry for any offense caused by the video posted on his TikTok account last July," his representative reportedly told the Sun newspaper.
"Whilst his intention was solely to recite lyrics of a song, Mykhailo regrets his decision and wholeheartedly accepts it was not appropriate. The video has since been removed."
Chelsea has not responded to a request for comment
Anti-racism group Kick it Out said it condemned the use of the N-word regardless of context.
"The N-word is deeply offensive and the use of this term by high-profile figures in football can only serve to alienate people from the game. It is important that footballers use their significant platform in a positive way, and we're encouraged to see that Mykhailo Mudryk has acknowledged the hurt caused by his use of this offensive slur," Kick it Out said.
Mudryk, a 22-year-old Ukraine international, made his Chelsea debut against Liverpool earlier this month and is part of a squad overhaul by American owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.