Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku got into a quarrel last Tuesday in the Italian Cup quarterfinal match at San Siro. Both forwards said everything, although the Swede, according to European media, exceeded the limits when speaking racist insults against the crack of Inter Milan. As expected, the 39-year-old Swedish attacker has come forward to deny the accusations and surprised many with a tender video.
“In the world of ZLATAN there is no place for RACISM. We are all of the same race, we are all the same! We are all PLAYERS some better than others ”, the Milan striker has posted on Twitter with a link to a video in which two children of different races appear hugging.
“Go back to your voodoo nonsense, little donkey”, Ibrahimovic would have launched in English, with a defiant air, in the direction of his former Manchester United teammate, according to concordant reconstructions of the dialogue.
These words can at the same time be interpreted as a reference to the Belgian international’s Congolese origins or as a reminder of an episode dating back to the Lukaku years in England, according to the Italian press.
An Everton manager claimed in January 2018 that Lukaku had not wanted to extend his contract with the club due to a voodoo message. A claim vehemently denied by the Belgian, who had gone to Manchester United a year earlier, in 2017.
Lukaku let the BBC know, through one of his representatives, that his decision had nothing to do with such beliefs and that he is Catholic.
Nothing happened here
The two coaches, Stefano Pioli and Antonio Conte, downplayed the events after the match, ensuring they had not heard the insults between the two players and included the confrontation within the tension linked to the derby.
But the Italian press regretted a “Bad show that spoiled a good game” (The Republic). “One goal each, a bad sketch for all”, lamented the Corriere della Sera, while the Corriere dello Sport spoke of “shame”.
“The terrain is a ring”, La Gazzetta dello Sport added, speaking of “Racist insults”. According to the Milanese sports newspaper, Ibrahimovic apologized to his teammates for his expulsion, but claimed not to have used racist words against Lukaku.
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