Dedryck Boyata insists he was "explaining a set-piece" to Marko Grujic after he was accused of flouting social-distancing advice and planting a kiss on his Hertha Berlin team-mate.
Hertha were 3-0 winners against Hoffenheim on Saturday as the Bundesliga became the first major European league to resume since the suspension of the 2019-20 season due to the coronavirus pandemic in March.
Precautions were taken in games, with substitutes wearing masks and sitting significant distances away from each other, but Boyata appeared to kiss Grujic on the cheek.
However, Boyata took to Instagram to offer a different version of events.
"It wasn't a kiss, neither a celebration," he wrote accompanied by a video of the incident.
"I apologize for putting my hands on @grujicmarko face. I was giving him instructions about a set-piece.
"We must definitely be careful now that we play under this situation. We have to adapt our way to play or celebrate."
Borussia Monchengladbach players hugged after scoring twice early in their 3-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
The German Football League (DFL) said it will not penalize players for celebrating, though it did offer guidance on the matter.
But state minister for Bavaria Markus Soder said stricter rules must be enforced in line with hygiene protocols.
"Football has an extreme function to be a role model, so we should stick to our instructions and pay attention to it next week," he told Sport 1.
"The players must also obey the rules."
On the Hertha incident, he added: "I didn't like it."