Paris Saint-Germain have hit out at the severity of the four-game-ban given to Zlatan Ibrahimovic for his foul-mouthed rant following last month’s defeat to Bordeaux.
Ibrahimovic stole the headlines for all the wrong reasons when he was caught on camera lambasting the display of referee Lionel Jaffredo after PSG’s 3-2 Ligue 1 loss at the Stade Chaban Delmas.
The Sweden striker appeared to say: “[I’ve] played 15 years I’ve never seen a referee this s*** country. Don’t even deserve PSG to be in this country. F****** too good for all of you.”
Although the former Barcelona and Inter star subsequently issued an apology, stating that his words “were directed neither towards France nor towards the French”, he was unable to avoid punishment.
But Ligue 1 leaders PSG have been quick to deliver a scathing assessment of the Professional Football League’s (LFP) decision.
A statement on PSG’s website read: “The club deplores the severity with which its player has been sanctioned, given his immense contribution to the image of French football, both in France and internationally.
“The club would also highlight, in this respect, that the player’s only hearings at the Disciplinary Commission have been requested after supplementary reports were made following viewing of images after the act.
“It is, once again, after viewing images filmed by a television crew, that the Commission decided to impose a disproportionate sanction on the player; one that denies Paris Saint-Germain a key player during this crucial period of the season and its quest for domestic success.
“The enthusiasm and total support of our loyal fans will strengthen the determination and motivation of our players whose objectives remain to try and win more trophies this term.
“Nothing will prevent us from writing a new winning chapter in the history of our club.”
Ibrahimovic will miss Ligue 1 fixtures against Nice, Lille and Metz, with the fourth game of his ban suspended.
The suspension starts from April 14, meaning that he will still be able to play in Saturday’s Coupe de la Ligue final with Bastia.
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