England women’s international footballer Toni Duggan, who is an ambassador for anti-racism in sport, has apologised for painting her face black to attend a fancy dress party as Whoopi Goldberg.
The sportswoman, who is currently playing a tournament with the rest of the side in Cyprus, made the ill-advised decision on a night out with her team.
Several photographs posted by teammates on Twitter and Instagram (scroll down to see the image) showed Duggan wearing a nun’s habit with heavy dark make-up as she posed alongside fellow squad members Steph Houghton, 25, and 27-year-old Jill Scott, who were dressed as characters from the Disney film 101 Dalmatians.
“I am very sorry for my actions and for any offence I may have caused,” said Duggan in a statement.
The 22-year-old sportswoman, who is a leading ambassador of the Kick It Out campaign – a movement dedicated to eradicating racism in sport – added: “I would like to apologise wholeheartedly to England, my club and anyone else that I may have offended.
Shout out to England Women's International Footballer Toni Duggan who blacked up for fancy dress last night pic.twitter.com/K8BIERMvF7Gareth David (@grthdvd) March 3, 2014
“I am proud to be a 'Next 20' ambassador for Kick It Out and take this role very seriously for an organisation that does such good work.”
“We are aware of the images,” a spokesperson for the England international women’s football team said.
“We have asked for the photos to be removed and are dealing with the matter internally.”
Duggan is expected to play an international game against Italy in Cyprus this evening.
The England team won the annual friendly tournament last year, beating Canada 1-0 in the final. The side are set to play six World Cup qualifying games this year ahead of Canada 2015.