Zlatan to miss Milan derby despite ban cut

Zlatan to miss Milan derby despite ban cut
Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic's ban for violent conduct was on Friday reduced from three games to two but the Sweden forward will still miss next weekend's Milan derby.

The AC Milan striker was sent off two weeks ago for striking Bari’s Marco Rossi in the ribs, after which he copped the expected and regulation three-game ban.

But Milan appealed and the Federal Court of Justice decided to reduce his ban by a game.

He has already served one game of his suspension, in which he was sorely missed as Milan lost 1-0 against a Palermo side that had lost their previous five matches.

He will still miss the derby on April 2nd at the San Siro, in which Milan are the nominal hosts, but will be free to return for the trip to Fiorentina a week later, thus greatly boosting Milan’s title hopes.

Ibrahimovic was originally banned for having “deliberately hit” Rossi off the ball, which was nowhere near the pair at the time.

But the reduction was given as Milan’s lawyer Leandro Cantamessa successfully argued that the referee’s opinion of how far away the ball was, was subjective and that Ibrahimovic’s strike could conceivably have been delivered with the aim of pushing Rossi away from the ball so that he would have a greater chance of winning it.

Having reduced Ibrahimovic’s ban, the Federal Court of Justice also decided to knock off one game from the three-game suspensions given to Lazio’s Stefan

Radu and Parma’s Daniele Galloppa, again both earned for violent conduct.

Milan lead Inter by two points at the top of Serie A with Napoli just a point further back in third, with eight matches left to play.

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