Saturday January 30 2021
Ibrahimovic risks racism charge with Lukaku

Zlatan Ibrahimovic risks a long ban if he is found guilty of racist abuse towards Romelu Lukaku during the Milan-Inter Coppa Italia row.

The disciplinary commission gave both a one-match Coppa ban, but those decisions were automatic, as Ibrahimovic was sent off for a second bookable offence and Lukaku had accumulated enough yellow cards to trigger a ban.

The FIGC has opened an investigation into the incident to see if further action is warranted and will view video footage as well as the referee’s report.

With the game behind closed doors, microphones are able to pick up who is saying what with greater clarity.

According to La Stampa newspaper, Ibrahimovic would risk a more serious ban – up to 10 games – if he was found guilty of using a racist insult.

The phrase in question is ‘go do your voodoo ****’ – but Ibra and Milan will argue that was referencing a specific story and not a general racist stereotype.

It comes from when an Everton director claimed Lukaku had turned down a new contract because his mother visited a voodoo doctor who said he should move on.

Lukaku has strenuously denied this, but the story was in the public sphere thanks to the interview with the Everton chief.

As for the other part of the phrase Ibrahimovic used, ‘little donkey’, that is simply a common British term used for players who have low skill levels.

Ibrahimovic had already reportedly mocked Lukaku for his poor first touch when they were teammates at Manchester United.

It is frankly unlikely the Italian authorities will clamp down on Ibrahimovic for this, so an extra one-match ban for both is probably going to be the extent of it, if indeed they even go that far.

All bans apply only for the Coppa Italia and not Serie A.