Zlatan Ibrahimovic condemns racism after spat with Romelu Lukaku

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Romelu Lukaku of FC Internazionale clashes with Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan during the Coppa Italia match between FC Internazionale and AC Milan at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 26, 2021 in Milan, Italy. Sporting stadiums around Italy remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.
Romelu Lukaku of FC Internazionale clashes with Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan during the Coppa Italia match between FC Internazionale and AC Milan at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 26, 2021 in Milan, Italy. Sporting stadiums around Italy remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.
Claudio Villa

Zlatan Ibrahimovic spoke out against racism on Wednesday after a heated exchange with former Manchester United teammate Romelu Lukaku during the Italian Cup quarter-final in which he evoked voodooism.

The AC Milan striker squared up to his Inter Milan counterpart in Tuesday's match, accusing the Belgian international of using voodoo, according to Italian media reports.

On Wednesday the Swede took to Twitter, writing; "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."

The heated altercation between the pair began at the half-time whistle in the San Siro.

Ibrahimovic taunted Lukaku and infuriated the Belgian by laughing in his face before the pair went head-to-head.

They continued to trade insults as they headed towards the tunnel with a furious Lukaku being restrained by his teammates.

Both players were booked over the incident and Ibrahimovic was subsequently sent off after picking up a second yellow card 15 minutes into the second half for bringing down Aleksandar Kolarov.

Christian Eriksen scored a last-gasp winner to send Inter into the semi-finals with a 2-1 victory after goals by both Lukaku and Ibrahimovic.

In 2018 Everton's majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri suggested Lukaku had declined a new contract with the Premier League club after heeding a "voodoo" message.

Lukaku, who in 2017 had joined Manchester United, rejected outright any notion of voodooism influencing his decision to leave Everton.

In an interview with the BBC in January 2018, a representative of the player raised the possibility of taking legal action against Moshiri, pointing out Lukaku was in fact Catholic.

Milan manager Stefano Pioli and Inter boss Antonio Conte played down the row after the match, saying they had not heard the players' arguing and blamed any tension on the fact the match was a Milan derby.

But Italian daily La Repubblica said the clash was "a poor spectacle that spoilt a great game" while Corriere della Sera said it was a case of "one goal each, (but) a bad scenario for everyone". Corriere dello Sport called it a "shameful" episode.

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