Anthony Elanga alleges he was racially abused while on international duty with Sweden. Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images
Manchester United striker Anthony Elanga has claimed he was racially abused by an opponent in an under-21 European Championship qualifying match between Sweden against Italy.
The teenager said he was subjected to a racist comment in Tuesday’s match in Monza, the Swedish football association confirmed on Wednesday.
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“We have told our version of what happened and have submitted an oral report to both the referees and the match delegates,” Sweden U21 coach Claes Eriksson said.
“Now we are waiting for feedback through the match report and the referee report. Once they have arrived, we decide how to proceed.”
Italy released a statement later on Wednesday denying the allegations. It read: “With regards to the Swedish FA’s claim and published by various media outlets, the FIGC deny in the strongest way possible the one of our under-21 players, during the Italy-Sweden game played in Monza yesterday, aimed a racist insult at an opposition player — an incident which, as far as we are aware, has not been founded by any match official or UEFA delegate.
“We hope the competent bodies promptly clear the case up. In the TV images shown on [Italian state TV channel] Rai 2 and still available on RaiPlay, following the equalising goal, in the 92nd minute, two Swedish players celebrate at length and are called by Italian players to quickly restart the match. We reiterate that no racist offence was made before, during or subsequently after that moment and that FIGC will protect its image and that of its players in all competent offices.
“At the same time, the FIGC reiterate the constant hard work put in across Italian football and in particular the national side with various anti-racism initiatives and condemn once again any discriminatory insult or violent incident.”
Sweden scored an equaliser in second-half stoppage time to earn a 1-1 draw.
“No one should have to be exposed to racism, it is completely unacceptable,” Eriksson said. “We all stand behind and support Anthony in this.”
Elanga broke into United’s first team last season and scored his first goal for the club in the win at Wolves on the final day of the Premier League campaign.
The 19-year-old has only made appearance this season in the 1-0 defeat to West Ham United in the Carabao Cup last month.