Zlatan Ibrahimovic launched an astonishing tirade against the referee after Paris saint-Germain’s 3-2 defeat to Bordeaux last Sunday (15/3). The vice president of France’s refereeing union has announced that he accepts the star’s apology.
Furious following his side’s defeat, in which referee Lionel Jaffredo and his assistans failed to spot a back-pass that was seen by goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso, Ibrahimovic launched a verbal assault on the refereeing team.
His behavior was captured on camera, featured him telling the fourth referee official to “wake up … we are not amateurs. Fucking asshole!” and ended with, “I’ve never seen this in my 15 years playing football. I’ve been playing for 15 years and I’ve never seen good refereeing in this shit country. They don’t even deserve PSG in this country.”
The French sports minister Patrick Kanner had called on the Swedish captain to apologize. On the following day, (16/3), the 33-year-old held a press release on his club’s official website in which he apologized. He was then reiterated and reinforced his apology in a video published on the same site.
Ibrahimovic said: “I like it in France. I would not have played there for so long and I would not have renewed my contract if I did not like it. All the others, all that bullshit, they just want to pull me down from the top but I will not go. I like it on top. That’s where I’ll stay.” He also added that he wants a greater emphasis placed on refereeing performances, though. “We the players are punished, but not the referee.”
Syndicat des Arbitres du Football d’Elite vice-president, Laurent Ugo commented on the player’s reiteration. “it’s the first time I have heard his apology. I think all French referees are going to hear it. Of course, we are delighted he has done it,” he told Foot365 after the body had published an open letter asking for match officials to be shown more respect.
Despite the apology, the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) disclosed on Monday that its Disciplinary Commission will scrutinize into the incident. Ibrahimovic runs the risk of a four-game ban with another match added, with striker having been under the threat of a one-game suspension following his previous trouble with French’s football authorities.
Under LFP rules, Ibrahimovic cannot make his appearance on the pitch until two weeks have passed following the commission first officially opening its enquiry, which will be on March 19. That means no decision can be taken before the commission’s hearing at court on April 9, and any sanction would take effect on April 14.