Zlatan Ibrahimovic statue torn down outside Sweden's Malmo stadium after being hacked off at ankles

'The best way to solve it is if it is removed and put somewhere in Stockholm or something,' said vice-chairman of Malmo supporter group

Kate Ng
Sunday 05 January 2020 18:43
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A statue of former Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been topped after vandals sawed it off at the ankles.

Located outside Malmo’s stadium in Sweden, the bronze statue had its nose cut off last month after it was announced Mr Ibrahimovic had invested in rival club Hammarby.

There were also attempts to set the statue on fire and racist graffiti was spray-painted next to it.

The fallen statue was found with a dark Sweden shirt draped over its face. No arrests have been made so far.

The statue was unveiled in October by the Swedish Football Association to commemorate Mr Ibrahimovic’s achievements as one of the country’s greatest football players.

Hakan Sjostrand, secretary general of Sweden’s FA, said: “I can understand that there is a disappointment in Malmo but it crosses all boundaries when you vandalise the statue in the way that has happened.”

The statue has been removed from the site for repairs and a spokesperson for the Malmo municipality’s sport and recreation department told BBC Sports they plan to bring it back.

Mr Ibrahimovic bought a 25 per cent stake in Stockholm-based Hammarby and said he wanted to make the team “the best in Scandinavia”.

His decision immediately drew rage from fans of his boyhood club Malmo, who vandalised his property in central Stockholm by writing the word “Judas” on the front door and pouring fermented herring in the doorway, reported the Associated Press.

Last month, there was an attempt to saw off the legs and police placed a nearly 3-meter fence with tarpaulin to protect it.

Kaveh Hosseinpour, vice-chairman of Malmo’s official supporters’ group, said at the time: “The best way to solve it is if it is removed and put somewhere in Stockholm or something.”

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