Zlatan Ibrahimovic Gives Testimony On Romelu Lukaku Racism Row To Italian Investigators
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has given his testimony to Italian Football Federation investigators charged with examining the fallout from his ugly row with Romalu Lukaku.
The Swede clashed with the Inter Milan striker during January's Coppa Italia quarter-final. Ibrahimovic could be heard calling Lukaku a "little donkey" and telling him to "call your mother and do your voodoo s**t." FIGC investigators spoke to Ibrahimovic at the AC Milan training ground on Friday.
However, according to Football Italia, it is expected that Zlatan will not be charged with racist abuse, after he explained that his "voodoo" comment was based on a story published in the UK media.
Tensions rising between Zlatan and Lukaku in the Milan derby :flushed: pic.twitter.com/mbPDw32yn3- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 26, 2021
Specifically, it was based on a 2018 claim made by Everton major shareholder Farhad Moshiri. Talking about ex-Everton player Lukaku leaving the club, Moshiri said: "Then in the meeting Rom called his mother. He said he was on a pilgrimage in Africa or somewhere and he had a voodoo and he got the message that he needs to go to Chelsea."
Lukaku - who ended up at Manchester United rather than Chelsea anyway - strongly denied the story and threatened to sue Moshiri.
However it seems clear that Ibrahimovic was referencing that story. So it's understood that Italian authorities have accepted this version of events and believe that his insult was not intended to be a stereotypical reference regarding Lukaku's Congolese heritage.
Zlatan denied any racist intent in the aftermath of the match, while Lukaku has not accused him of racism.
More Like ThisMore Like This
In ZLATAN's world there is no place for RACISM.- Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) January 27, 2021
We are all the same race - we are all equal !!
We are all PLAYERS some better then others.https://t.co/DhguHUOFte
The 39-year-old Milan striker also had to explain the meaning of the phrase "little donkey" - a common phrase in England to describe a player lacking in skill or finesse.
Both players were hit with one-match bans in the aftermath of their extensive verbal confrontation, in which an incensed Lukaku could be heard telling Ibrahimovic "f**k you and your wife" after hearing the comment about his mother.
The heated game was eventually won 2-1 by Inter, Lukaku scoring a penalty before Christian Eriksen's stoppage-time free-kick winner. Ibrahimovic was also sent off for a second yellow card.
The Federal Prosecutor has summoned referee Paolo Valeri as the #FIGC released a statement of the proceedings in the Ibrahimovic-Lukaku case. https://t.co/pZ3h3zRiyJ#CoppaItalia #Zlatan #Lukaku #Inter #ACMilan #FCIM #InterMilan pic.twitter.com/6S5x02DS3w- footballitalia (@footballitalia) February 1, 2021
If Ibrahimovic is found guilty of racism, then the former Paris Saint-Germain star could be slapped with a ban of up to 10 matches.
But, if reports in Italy are to be believed, the FIGC are set to accept that - however much poor taste there was in Zlatan's insults - he did not intend any racial insult of his former Manchester United teammate.
All imagery: PA Images
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read