The Austrian forward made headlines with his aggressive reaction to finding the net.
Marko Arnautovic has apologised for any offence taken from his passionate goal celebration on Sunday afternoon but rejected any suggestion that there was a racist element to his reaction.
Arnautovic came off the bench for Austria and sealed the win for Franco Foda’s side with his late goal in the Euro 2020 Group C opener against North Macedonia.
Arnautovic didn’t appear to be too happy with his goal, however, as rage seemed to be the overriding emotion in his celebration.
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) June 13, 2021
The 32-year-old clearly aimed some harsh words at Macedonian player Gjanni Alioski before Austria captain David Alaba attempted to silence Arnautovic by grabbing his mouth.
Arnautovic has since apologised for the nature of his celebration but he has rejected suggestions that he used racist language when addressing Alioski and Egzon Bejtulai, both of who have Albanian roots.
Marko Arnautovic apologises for celebration
“There were some heated words yesterday in the emotions of the game for which I would like to apologise, especially to my friends from North Macedonia and Albania,” Arnautovic wrote on his Instagram stories.
“I would like to say one thing very clearly. I am not a racist. I have friends in almost every country and I stand for diversity. Everyone who knows me is aware of that.”
Premier League fans will remember Arnautovic from his spells with Stoke City and West Ham, and the forward has always been on the volatile side.
Next up for Austria after their 3-1 win over Macedonia is a clash with The Netherlands on Thursday before they take on Ukraine the following Monday.
Macedonia, meanwhile, have it all to do if they stand any chance of making it out of the group as they meet Ukraine on Thursday before closing out the group against the Netherlands on Monday, June 21.