MALMO, Sweden – Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s statue in his hometown of Malmo was vandalized overnight Saturday, January 4, Swedish police reported.
The statue has been the target of numerous attacks since the Swedish footballer 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 and the word “Judas” daubed across the front door of his Stockholm home.
In the latest incident, the statue had collapsed against the barrier protecting it, its feet partially chopped off.
“A vandalism complaint has been lodged,” a police spokesperson told AFP.
There are calls from local inhabitants for the statue outside Malmo’s city stadium to be moved.
“I can understand that many people are disappointed in Zlatan’s behaviour but vandalizing a statute is simply unworthy. Better to express your dissatisfaction in a democratic way,” Malmo deputy mayor Frida Trollmyr told AFP.
A citizens’ initiative to move the sculpture will be considered in February, she added.
A spokesman for the Malmo municipality said later Sunday that the statue had now been removed and will be repaired.
Ibrahimovic, 38, is set to make his debut for former club AC Milan in Serie A on Monday, January 6, after signing a six-month contract with the former European champions last week. – Rappler.com