Evergreen Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be charged with any manner of racist abuse after his heated confrontation with ex-Manchester United colleague Romelu Lukaku at last month’s Milan derby at the San Siro.
The two marksmen squared up to one another just before half-time in January’s pivotal Italian Cup tie between the two Milanese arch-rivals, with what began as a verbal exchange developing into the two players butting heads with one another.
As the showdown ensued, Lukaku said that he would see his rival “inside” – to which Ibrahimovic replied: “Call your mother. Go and do your voodoo sh*t”. Ibrahimovic was also reported to have called Lukaku a “little donkey” during the feisty exchange.
The comments certainly didn’t go down with the burly Belgian striker, who shot back: “You want to speak about my mother!? F*ck you and your wife, you little b*tch.”
In ZLATAN’s world there is no place for RACISM. We are all the same race – we are all equal !!We are all PLAYERS some better then others.https://t.co/DhguHUOFte
— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) January 27, 2021
Both players received yellow cards for their parts in the fracas – but further acrimony came after the final whistle when some people, mostly on social media, suggested that Ibrahimovic’s comments could be construed as racist.
However, the “voodoo” comment was more likely a reference to a story during Lukaku’s spell with Premier League side Everton after it was alleged by club majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri that Lukaku had consulted with a voodoo witchdoctor who had advised the player to leave Merseyside and rejoin former club Chelsea – an allegation that Lukaku strenuously denied.
Ibrahimovic, 39, angrily denied accusations of racism on social media, saying after the game: “In ZLATAN’s world there is no place for RACISM. We are all the same race – we are all equal!! We are all PLAYERS – some better than others.”
FIGC (Italian Football Federation) investigators seem to agree after the Swede explained to them that the “voodoo” comments were based on a specific story, rather than being a haphazard stereotype lobbed at a rival player of African ancestry.
Meanwhile, Ibrahimovic was also asked to explain his “little donkey” comments and said that the phrase has its root in English football and is used to describe a player with very little technical skill.
Lukaku is set to be interviewed by the FIGC next week, when it is understood that he will make no claims of racism against Ibrahimovic.