Manchester United posted an anti-racist message apparently in solidarity with Anthony Elanga, who says he suffered racial violence while on international service.
The 19-year-old was playing for the Swedish Under-21 team against Italy when the alleged abuse occurred.
A statement published on the official website of the Swedish federation said: “As part of the qualification for the U21 national team’s European Championship against Italy in Monza on Tuesday, Anthony Elanga said after the match that he had been the subject of a racist comment by an Italian opponent, the Under-21 national team.
Sweden U21 boss Claes Eriksson added: “We gave our version of what happened and submitted an oral report to the referees and match delegates.
“We are now awaiting feedback via the match report and the referee’s report. Once we arrive we decide what to do next. Security officer Martin Fredman is also briefed on what happened. .
“No one should have to be exposed to racism, this is totally unacceptable. We all support and support Anthony in this area.
The Red Devils, without categorically naming Elanga’s case, seem to have come out in favor of their player.
Man United posted an image on Twitter encouraging fans to report any racism with the caption: “There is no room for any form of racial abuse or discrimination in society. “
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) rejected the request.
A statement read: “The FIGC denies in the most absolute manner that a footballer of the national Under-21 team, during the Italy-Sweden game in Monza, expressed racist insults against an opponent, an incident which, to our knowledge, has not been noticed by match officials or the UEFA delegate.
“We hope that the governing bodies will quickly clarify the matter. From television images broadcast yesterday and still available, after the equalizer, in the 92nd minute, two Swedish players celebrate the goal at length and are called on by Italian footballers to resume play quickly.
“We reiterate that no racist offense has been committed before, at that time or afterwards, and the FIGC will protect its image and that of its players.
“At the same time, the FIGC reaffirms the constant commitment made by all Italian football, and in particular by the national teams, through numerous initiatives, to fight against racism and once again condemn any discriminatory insult or episode of violence.”
Elanga, who plays as a winger, has three senior appearances for Man United to his name. He has one goal under his belt, scored in a 2-1 win over Wolves on the final matchday of last season.
Download talkSPORT Edge NOW!
It’s the free soccer app that lets you stay one step ahead of your friends with short, to the point, and shareable content.
Whether it’s goals as you go or the latest news from your club, stay on top of everything that is happening in football with the latest news, live scores and in-app betting.
Download talkSPORT Edge from the App Store here.