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Ibrahimovic, who sources have told ESPN FC could yet play for Hammarby, began his career at Malmo and is Sweden’s record international goalscorer with 62 in 116 games, was honoured with a statue in October.
Video on social media showed the statue being torched on Wednesday evening in Sweden, while a racist message was reportedly spray-painted next to it.
“Several people are said to have vandalised the statue and sprayed it with paint,” police spokesman Jimmy Morin told state broadcaster SVC, adding that an investigation into the vandalism had been opened.
Earlier on Wednesday the monument was also vandalised with a toilet seat and a sheet to cover the former Sweden international’s head, while supporters of Malmo began an online petition to have the statue removed.
Malmo fans are angry not just that Ibrahimovic wants to make another club better than his boyhood team but also that he said he didn’t think Malmo supporters would be disappointed by his choice.
“A betrayal became a betrayal and a provocation,” Kaveh Hosseinpour, vice chairman of Malmo’s official supporters group, told The Associated Press. “So he basically stuck a knife in our backs, and then he came along with a sword and chopped off our heads.”
Hosseinpour blasted Ibrahimovic for thinking he was “above criticism, that he is above Malmo FF and our feelings just because he is Zlatan.
“The statue is completely worthless now, just a piece of junk,” Hosseinpour said. “The best way to solve that was if it was removed and put s