Ghana and AS Roma wonderkid, Felix Afena-Gyan has insisted he took no offence to an off-camera remark made in a video of him receiving a gift from Jose Mourinho which people deemed racist.
Mourinho kept his promise to Afena-Gyan after the 18-year-old came off the bench to score a brace for Roma in a 2-0 win over Genoa.
And as a reward, the Portuguese manager bought the 17-year-old a pair of Balenciaga shoes – worth £671 – and presented them to him on Monday morning at training.
But the gesture was overshadowed by a comment made off-camera as Afena-Gyan was filmed opening the gift.
As the youngster excitedly unwrapped the shoes, someone was heard off-camera saying: “There are bananas inside.”
However, Afena-Gyan insisted there was no racial meaning behind the comment, and instead insisted it was an inside joke about his diet.
Speaking on Instagram, the youngster said: “I have been reading a lot of comments about the video I published earlier today of a special moment for me with the coach. I want to assure you all that I was not offended by the background comment made in the video in any way — and that I truly believe there was no racist intent.
“Since the first day I arrived at the club I have been welcomed into the family by everyone, who have joked with me like they do all members of the family. Because they see that I eat bananas a lot that has become a thing we laugh about sometimes — and I believe the comment was another example of that.”
Mourinho promised to buy Afena-Gyan the shoes before he netted a match-winning brace for Roma, and ‘the special one’ has followed through with his deal.
A video circled social media of Afena-Gyan opening the new shoes before embracing Mourinho, with the Roma boss admitting: “He was dreaming of these shoes, so I thought: let’s do it.”
Afena-Gyan’s heroics bailed out Roma in the most extraordinary circumstances, as Moruinho’s side have suffered a poor run of form, but they currently sit fifth in Serie A.