STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Jun 4 – The statue of Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic will remain in his birthplace of Malmo despite it being repeatedly vandalised, the city’s mayor said Thursday.
Some fans had petitioned the authorities to relocate the statue to Stockholm while separate citizens’ initiative demanded it be maintained elsewhere in Malmo.
“The statue remains in Malmo and a group within the city’s organisation will now study where it can be installed,” Anders Malmstrom, a spokesman for the local municipality, told AFP.
The statue has been the target of numerous attacks since the player invested in Stockholm-based Hammarby, angering supporters of Malmo FF, the club where he began his professional career.
In November, a day after his investment in Hammarby, Ibrahimovic filed a “hate crime” complaint after the statue was attacked with fire and paint and the word ‘Judas’ daubed across the front door of his Stockholm home.
In January, the statue had collapsed against the barrier protecting it, its feet partially chopped off.
Meanwhile, Ibrahimovic will be out of action for another 10 days with a calf injury, AC Milan announced Thursday after the Swede underwent further medical tests.
The 38-year-old “has undergone a check-up following the injury to his right soleus muscle. His recovery is proceeding well, without complications and a new check-up is to be expected in about 10 days”, the Serie A club said.
Ibrahimovic sustained the injury last month in training with the club he rejoined during this season’s winter transfer window.
AC Milan are set to resume their coronavirus-hit season at the end of next week, with the return leg of the Italian Cup semi-final against Juventus.