As he explained to FIGC investigators that his ‘voodoo’ statement was based on a particular story, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not supposed to be charged with racial harassment of Romelu Lukaku.
In the sentence, Ibrahimovic steadfastly denied any racist motive, and Lukaku also did not directly accuse him of racism.
According to several sources this morning, when interviewed at the Milanello training ground on Friday, the reason Zlatan gave to investigators was that the ‘voodoo’ comment was based on a very particular article in English newspapers in 2017.
This hit the headlines because Everton shareholder Farhad Moshiri reported in an interview that after calling his mother, who had “a voodoo and got the message that he needs to go to Chelsea,” Lukaku declined to sign a new contract with the club.
Lukaku denied the story and indeed ended up at Manchester United, threatening to sue Moshiri rather than Chelsea anyway.
Ibrahimovic will clear himself of any bias allegations by showing the English newspaper coverage of that story since it was a particular event in the public eye and not a general stereotype focused on the African heritage of Lukaku.
Zlatan also had to clarify the meaning of the word ‘little donkey,’ which is a very common term used in England to describe a player without technical abilities.
Again, when Ibrahimovic revealed he wanted to reward Lukaku with cash any time he had a good first touch in training, this would match in with the battles these two had in the past at Manchester United and is to be filed under general ‘trash talk.’
Lukaku will also be interviewed next week by the FIGC investigators, but at no point during their clash did he accuse Ibrahimovic of racism, nor did Inter intimate that it was an issue.
The prospect of accusing Ibrahimovic of racial violence was only ever seen in the newspapers.