Zlatan Ibrahimovic has said "there is no place for racism" after coming under scrutiny for language he used in a fiery exchange with Romelu Lukaku during Tuesday's Milan derby.
AC Milan's Ibrahimovic and Inter's Lukaku, once team-mates at Manchester United, were both booked after clashing heads and trading insults in a spat at the end of the first half of the Coppa Italia quarter-final tie.
The pair's heated conversation was picked up by the television cameras with no fans in the stadium and Ibrahimovic has subsequently faced criticism on social media for his choice of words.
Ibrahimovic responded on social media on Wednesday, saying: "In Zlatan's world there is no place for racism. We are all the same race - we are all equal."
The former Sweden international had one more quip for Lukaku, adding: "We are all players some better than others."
Sky in Italy is reporting that the Italian FA will not make a decision on how to proceed until at least Friday.
Ibrahimovic, who gave Milan the lead, was sent off after picking up a second yellow in the second half, while Lukaku levelled with a penalty before Christian Eriksen's stoppage-time winner sent Inter through with a 2-1 win.
The Coppa Italia clash came with the sides also fighting at the top of the Serie A table, with leaders AC Milan two points clear of second-placed Inter at the halfway stage of the season.
Lukaku vs Ibra: A clash between kings
Lukaku and Ibrahimovic's encounter at the San Siro was the latest chapter in their running saga which began when the two were team-mates at Old Trafford.
Lukaku said in an interview with Tiki Taka ahead of their first encounter in Serie A: "Ibra is a champion, I respect him. In Manchester I could train every day with him, that was the most beautiful thing for me. It will be nice to play against him. He is a great champion and professional.
"For me it's not normal that he can do those things at his age. He works a lot; he always gave me advice when we played together in Manchester."
But in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport in 2019, the 39-year-old Swede was far from complimentary when discussing Lukaku's technique and said he made a bet with the forward while the pair were together at United - which was turned down.
"I will say this on Romelu: don't expect good technique from Lukaku. His best strength is sheer power. If only he'd listened to me," Ibrahimovic said.
"At Manchester United, we made a bet: 'I'll give you £50 for every decent first touch you make'.
"He replied: 'What do I win if I get them all right?' I told him nothing, he would simply become a better player. For the record, he never accepted the bet! Perhaps he was afraid of losing?! Joking aside, Lukaku has this mad hunger to prove himself to the world and I'm sure he will do well at Inter too."
Back in February 2020, Lukaku scored in the final minute to complete a 4-2 win over Milan and he posted on social media a "new king" was in town, inferring he had dethroned Ibrahimovic in the Italian city.
Ibrahimovic and Milan had previously stated the Swede's second spell with the Rossoneri marked the "return of the king".