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02:58

Sweden: Malmo fans angry at Ibrahimovic but say threats, racism disgusting

Sweden, Malmo
November 29, 2019 at 20:02 GMT +00:00 · Published

Fans of Swedish football club Malmo FF criticized legendary striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s decision to buy stakes of their arch-rivals Hammarby IF, speaking in Malmo on Friday. The player's decision angered hardcore supporters who set on fire and vandalised a statue in his honour. However, the fans denounced reported threats to his family and racist remarks against Ibrahimovic on social media.

"If you know Swedish fan culture, it's a big betrayal. And I feel the same — it's a big betrayal. At all times the club is bigger than one player, so we have to move on. But I understand the anger. I understand everything besides the racism," said Eric, a Malmo fan.

"I understand that the statue here is symbolic, so that is important for Malmo, and Malmo FF, but when they turn over to his family and racism and his apartments and so on — that's disgusting," said Michael, another fan.

"In Malmo we don't need our police to watch a statue, we have other problems, they need to be in other places. We can't forget what Zlatan has done for Malmo as a city, and now I think it was a bad decision to go into Hammarby IF. He should know that the fans will be angry. But the burning here of the statue and all those things are unnecessary I think," said a third fan.

The 2.7-metre (8.9 feet) statue made by Swedish artist Peter Linde was unveiled in October.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic played for Malmo FF, AFC Ajax, Juventus FC, FC Inter, FC Barcelona, AC Milan, PSG and Manchester United before moving to the US-based Major League Soccer in 2018.

Ibrahimovic took part in 116 matches with the Swedish national team, scoring 62 goals before playing his last game for Sweden at Euro 2016.

02:58
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Fans of Swedish football club Malmo FF criticized legendary striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s decision to buy stakes of their arch-rivals Hammarby IF, speaking in Malmo on Friday. The player's decision angered hardcore supporters who set on fire and vandalised a statue in his honour. However, the fans denounced reported threats to his family and racist remarks against Ibrahimovic on social media.

"If you know Swedish fan culture, it's a big betrayal. And I feel the same — it's a big betrayal. At all times the club is bigger than one player, so we have to move on. But I understand the anger. I understand everything besides the racism," said Eric, a Malmo fan.

"I understand that the statue here is symbolic, so that is important for Malmo, and Malmo FF, but when they turn over to his family and racism and his apartments and so on — that's disgusting," said Michael, another fan.

"In Malmo we don't need our police to watch a statue, we have other problems, they need to be in other places. We can't forget what Zlatan has done for Malmo as a city, and now I think it was a bad decision to go into Hammarby IF. He should know that the fans will be angry. But the burning here of the statue and all those things are unnecessary I think," said a third fan.

The 2.7-metre (8.9 feet) statue made by Swedish artist Peter Linde was unveiled in October.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic played for Malmo FF, AFC Ajax, Juventus FC, FC Inter, FC Barcelona, AC Milan, PSG and Manchester United before moving to the US-based Major League Soccer in 2018.

Ibrahimovic took part in 116 matches with the Swedish national team, scoring 62 goals before playing his last game for Sweden at Euro 2016.

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