Swedish giant Zlatan Ibrahimovic has angered fans of his Malmö training club for joining the rival Hammarby squad.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has lodged a complaint after being the target of racist death threats and vandalism in Sweden, the police said on Thursday. The perpetrators of the degradations in his home town of Malmö and Stockholm have not been identified. "Ibra" triggered the ire of Malmö FF fans, the club of his professional debut, announcing on Wednesday that he was joining the capital of the Stockholm club Hammarby.

In Malmö, several people, most of them hooded, vandalized a statue with his effigy inaugurated in great pomp just two months ago. They wrote the words "Cigani dö" ("gypsy", in Bosnian, and "dying" in Swedish) near the monument to spray painting. Born in Malmö, Ibrahimovic is of Bosnian origin by his father and Croatian by his mother.

Smoke and barriers

Smoke was thrown against the statue, without damaging it, shows an amateur video broadcast on social networks. The statue has since been surrounded by a protective barrier. "An investigation is opened for vandalism and threats of a racist nature Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a civil party," a police spokesman for Malmö told AFP. Earlier in the day on Wednesday, angry fans donned a toilet seat along an arm of the statue.

In the morning, Hammarby, who plays in Sweden's first division, announced that the superstar, who began his career there are twenty years, had acquired about 25% stake in the club. "He turns his back on the city and drops what made him who he is," lamented Malmö FF vice president of supporters, Kaveh Hosseinpour, who was interviewed by TV4 television.

Many supporters of Malmö have launched & signed a petition for the city to withdraw the statue of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, inaugurated at the beginning of October. They evoke the betrayal of Zlatan, who is now co-owner of the Hammarby Club (Stockholm). The statue has already been vandalized. pic.twitter.com/SsYlVTFfcP

- Johann Crochet (@johanncrochet) November 27, 2019

Thursday noon, nearly 7,000 people had signed a petition demanding the immediate removal of the statue. "How could you do such a thing to us?" Asked a signatory while another was indignant: "It can not be a question of money". In Stockholm, the door of the housing of the former head of the PSG was covered with the word "Judas" in capital letters and "surströmming", a fermented herring particularly smelly, was thrown on the building.