Antonio Di Natale has written a note to explain why he made the “instinctive gesture in the heat of the moment” to silence Udinese fans.
The captain took his finger to his lips after scoring the last-minute equaliser in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Catania.
“It was an instinctive gesture in the heat of the moment at the end of a tough and tense game. In my view, the gesture gained more media attention than it warranted.
“I love Udine, this city, the jersey and the fans who have always made me feel one of them. I owe everything to this club that believed in me and these supporters who always loved me like a son.”
It is still not entirely clear what Di Natale was gesturing against, as some report it was for jeers the team was receiving when 2-1 down to Catania, while others suggest the native Neapolitan heard insulting chants aimed towards southern Italians.
“I am sorry if on Wednesday night someone was offended by my gesture and for that I apologise to the Friulani fans and our splendid curva. I think my personal and professional history proves more than any words how much I care about Udine.
“As far as I am concerned, this incident is closed and I am focused only on helping Udinese to go as far as possible in Italy and Europe.”