AC Milan stars Tiemoue Bakayoko and Franck Kessie apologise after controversial Lazio shirt celebration


AC Milan midfield duo Tiémoué Bakayoko and Franck Yannick Késsié were subject to intense criticism after the usual respectful swapping shirt gesture turned sour.

Bakayoko and Kessie have both apologised for holding up Lazio defender Francesco Acerbi's shirt like a trophy after Milan's 1-0 home win on Saturday.

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In the build-up to the Serie A clash this weekend, Acerbi revealed in an interview with Football Italia, that there's "no comparison" between the teams' players and that Lazio are "stronger".

France international Bakayoko took to Twitter to respond to the claims by stating; 'OK Acerbi see you Saturday'.

After Kessie scored the only goal of the heated encounter Acerbi, who played 10 times for Milan in 2012-13, swapped shirts with the on-loan Chelsea star in order to end the 'rift'.

However, the midfielder then proceeded to use his shirt as a 'trophy' to celebrate with their home supporters which sparked widespread criticism.

"Fomenting hatred is not sport but a sign of weakness," former Milan player Acerbi said on Instagram, while team-mate Ciro Immobile calling the Milan duo "two little men".

Milan insisted there was 'no mockery, no aggressive or anti-sporting intentions', their official statement that soon followed.

"Milan is founded on values such as respect (on and off the field), equity, inclusion. Tiemoue and Franck know, share and express those values every day."

The pair then took to social media on Saturday issuing regret in their actions: with Bakayoko stating it was "a playful gesture" and Kessie saying he "just wanted to joke, nothing more".