Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be in trouble with the Italian Football Federation after the AC Milan forward was accused of making a racial slur towards Inter striker Romelu Lukaku, according to an Italian media report today.
The former Manchester United teammates were involved in an ugly bust-up before half-time in Tuesday’s Milan derby, squaring up to one another while exchanging insults.
As per Gazzetta dello Sport’s print edition, referee Paolo Valeri booked both players for the incident but his report did not contain any mention of abusive language, instead marking the spat down as ‘mutual misconduct’.
The FIGC’s federal prosecution office could therefore intervene and open a further investigation into the ugly scenes at San Siro, because as things stand Lukaku and Ibrahimovic have only been punished for their physical altercation, not the insults.
Ibrahimovic took to Twitter yesterday to deny he had racially abused Lukaku, having been heard to tell the Belgian on Tuesday: “Go and do your voodoo s***.”
As explained by GdS, the Swede’s comments could represent a breach of article 28 in the FIGC’s sports justice code, which condemns ‘any conduct which, directly or indirectly, involves offence, denigration or insult for reasons relating to race, colour, religion, language, gender, nationality, ethnic origin or personal or social condition’.
Lukaku was accused on social media of having given Ibrahimovic a death threat, but the Milan-based publication said Inter had dismissed the claims because the audio from Tuesday’s game did not show any evidence of this.
The Belgian forward lost his nerve in a manner never seen before in his career, not even when he had been subject to racial abuse from supporters, after the 39-year-old mentioned his mother Adolphine.
Lukaku and Ibrahimovic’s fate will become clearer tomorrow when Italy’s sports disciplinary committee releases its report on this week’s events.