The 34-year-old superstar who currently plays at Japan’s Vissel Kobe had no intention “to upset anyone by displaying that photo,” according to a statement by his agency released on Wednesday.
“He would like to apologise to those people who may have felt offended,” the statement said, however, the midfielder did not delete the original post from Twitter.
Iniesta’s picture on Twitter and Instagram posted on Sunday showed his family and a group of people in costumes, taking part in the Three Kings Day celebration also known as Epiphany, which is widely celebrated in Spain.
It is not uncommon for Balthasar to be represented by a white man with a painted black face during the Three Kings processions that take place in towns across Spain on the eve of Epiphany, although more and more councils are taking note of the controversy and instead choose an authentic black man for the role.
This year a row broke out after an African migrant chosen to play the role in a parade in the Basque Country announced told children that it was their parents who were the real kings.