"That's meant to be a red card? Come on, we're not women," Can said, after Ronaldo was controversially sent off vs. Valencia.
Juventus midfielder Emre Can has turned to Twitter to apologize after causing offense when questioning the referee's decision to show Cristiano Ronaldo the red card.
Ronaldo was sent off in controversial fashion in the first half hour of Juve's 2-0 away win at Valencia after appearing to pull the hair of Jeison Murillo in an off the ball incident in which the referee had to consult fellow officials before brandishing the straight red card.
"That's meant to be a red card? Come on, we're not women," Can told DAZN, leading to accusations of sexism and even calls for a ban on his social media account.
Following uproar on Twitter, Can posted an apology claiming his comments were not meant to degrade women.
"Everyone who knows me knows about my respect for women," he posted.
Can was adamant the decision the referee's decision was wrong, writing: "My intention was to stick up for a team-mate regarding a wrong decision which could have affected our game.
"I sincerely apologise if any of the comments I made have caused any harm."
The red card could ruin the chances of a reunion between Manchester United and Ronaldo at Old Trafford.
Unlike the Premier League, the Champions League's policy of red cards is an immediate one match suspension plus up to a further two games which is decided by a panel on a case-by-case basis.
Should Ronaldo incur a three-match ban, this would rule him out of both matches with his former side Manchester United. The panel next meets on September 27 to discuss Ronaldo's fate.