Milan have defended the actions of Tiémoué Bakayoko and Franck Kessié, who after the win against Lazio celebrated with the shirt of Acerbi.
Milan recorded an extremely important win last night as they defeated Lazio 1-0 thanks to a 79′ minute Kessié penalty.
The build-up for the match on social media was almost as heated as the game itself: it started with Lazio center back Francesco Acerbi telling the media that the Biancocelesti are stronger than Milan and are going to win, to which Bakayoko replied on Twitter: “OK Acerbi, see you Saturday”.
After the Red and Black win last night, Acerbi exchanged shirts with Bakayoko, and Tiémoué went out to celebrate with his teammates while displaying Acerbi’s jersey to the Milan fans. Acerbi then wrote on his Twitter account that “I am disappointed because I swapped shirts to put an end to the issue. Stirring up hatred is not sport, but a sign of weakness.” The Disciplinary Commission has decided to open an investigation into the incident and Milan made their stance clear this evening:
“Milan wish to reconstruct the events following the 32 Matchday game between Milan and Lazio, and make some clarifications. The Rossoneri players went under the Curva Sud at San Siro to salute the fans. It is a custom for them to do this. Last night, Tiémoué Bakayoko reached his teammates under the stands holding Francesco Acerbi’s jersey, having just then completed a sporting exchange of jerseys, and held it up for a few seconds (along with Franck Kessié) to the crowd.
“The sole intention was to celebrate an important victory with no intention to mock, nor be aggressive or unsporting. It was an innocent, naïve response to a friendly exchange of tweets with Acerbi in the days leading up to the game. The proof is in the dynamics of what happened, the facial expressions of the players, the total absence of jeers or other negative elements.
“In realizing this innocent gesture had upset Francesco Acerbi personally (a colleague who all the Milan players respect), both Tiémoué and Franck publicly apologized to him. It was also interpreted as an innocent gesture by Lazio director of sport Igli Tare, who at the end of the match declared it was ‘banter as part of a fiery game, one we shouldn’t give too much importance to’.
“Milan are based on values like respect (on the field and off it), equality, and inclusion: Tiémoué and Franck know, share and express those values every day.”