Ibrahimovic files ‘hate crime’ complaint after house and statue vandalised
Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic yesterday filed a “hate crime” complaint after being the target of vandalism and racists threats, police said, a day after the star announced his part ownership in football club Hammarby. A statue of the player in Malmo was attacked with fire and paint while the word “Judas” was daubed across the front door of his residence in Stockholm.
The perpetrators of the threatening acts have not been identified but “Ibra” angered fans of Malmo FF (MFF) -- the club where he started his professional career in 1999 -- on Wednesday when he announced he had bought a share in rival club Hammarby. In Malmo, several people, most of them wearing hoods, vandalised a statue of Ibrahimovic that was unveiled just two months ago.
Near the monument they wrote the words “Cigani do” (“Gypsy” in Bosnian, and “die” in Swedish) in spray paint. Born in Malmo, Ibrahimovic is the son of a Bosnian father and Croatian mother. Videos posted on social media showed masked people lighting fires and aiming them at the statue. There was no significant damage and a protective barrier has since been put up around it.
“An investigation has been opened into vandalism and threats with suspected hate crime motive. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the plaintiff,” a police spokesman said.