AC Milan to defend Zlatan Ibrahimovic if striker faces racism probe over Romelu Lukaku clash
AC Milan technical director Paolo Maldini said, 'We are ready to defend Ibrahimovic in any way possible if racism should be brought up, which has nothing to do with him.'
Milan: AC Milan will defend Zlatan Ibrahimovic if he faces disciplinary action for racism after the Swede clashed with Inter's Romelu Lukaku during an Italian Cup match this week, team technical director Paolo Maldini said on Saturday.
"We are ready to defend Ibrahimovic in any way possible if racism should be brought up, which has nothing to do with him," said Maldini.
"It happens to argue, it's an ugly episode to watch, but it ends there.
"(Ibrahimovic) was sorry for having left the team with 10 (players), he defended his teammates against Lukaku's unprovoked attacks."
The heated altercation between the former Manchester United teammates began before the half-time whistle of the quarter-final match which Inter won in the San Siro.
Ibrahimovic taunted Lukaku by evoking voodooism before the pair went head-to-head, trading insults with a furious Lukaku restrained by his teammates.
Ibrahimovic spoke out against racism on Wednesday, writing on Twitter: "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."
Both players were booked over the incident and Ibrahimovic was subsequently sent off in the second half after picking up a second yellow.
They will both be suspended for their team's next Italian Cup game, with Lukaku picking up a yellow card in the previous game.
The Belgian will miss next Tuesday's Italian Cup semi-final, first leg tie against Juventus.
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A tailor-made score has been established to allow the footballer to ensure his commitments with the festival, broadcast live for five nights from Tuesday, 2 March, while playing with the Milan club.
Red Star later issued a statement strongly condemning the abuse and pledged to cooperate closely with authorities to identify the man involved.
Ronaldo hadn’t scored for Juventus since the start of the month. He came close on a couple of occasions before breaking the deadlock in the 38th minute when he headed in an Alex Sandro cross.