(Reuters) – Italy’s Serie A chief has apologized for the ape artwork used for its anti-racism campaign which has been widely criticized.

The imagery by artist Simone Fugazzotto featured three apes with different color eyes and detailing.

“We realized it was inappropriate,” the league’s chief executive Luigi De Siervo said in a statement on Tuesday.

Italian clubs AS Roma and AC Milan have criticized the choice of imagery that the league initially said “aims to spread the values of integration, multiculturalism and brotherhood”.

Fugazzotto, who uses apes in much of his work, defended his creation, saying “we are all monkeys”.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Ken Ferris)

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