A fan of Serbian pro soccer team Red Star hurled anti-Muslim slurs at AC Milan (Italy) star Zlatan Ibrahimovic during a match on Feb. 19. The Red Star organization issued an apology to Ibrahimovic.
The 39-year-old Ibrahimovic is a Swedish national with Bosnian roots, born to a Muslim father and Catholic mother. He has not been open to the public about his own religious practices. During AC Milan’s match against Red Star in the Serbian capital of Belgrade, Ibrahimovic — who was not playing — was taunted by a fan calling him a name in Serbian that is derogatory to Muslims.
“Red Star vehemently condemns abusive chants to Zlatan Ibrahimovic during the Europa League match with AC Milan,” the team said in a press release. “The club did everything in its power to organize the event on a high level and we will not allow a primitive individual to stain Serbia’s traditional hospitality.
“We will work with the authorities to identify the offender and we will also insist that he is punished to the full extent of the law.”
Ibrahimovic has played on the senior pro level since 1999 for a number of clubs. His longest stint was with Paris Saint-Germain in France’s Ligue 1, where he was named league Player of the Year three times. This is his second season with AC Milan. Ibrahimovic played for Sweden’s national team in the FIFA World Cup in 2002 and 2006.