Zlatan banned over 'France is s**t' rant
The Local · 10 Apr 2015, 10:08
Published: 09 Apr 2015 23:46 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Apr 2015 10:08 GMT+02:00
Paris Saint-Germain's tempestuous striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Thursday received a four-match ban from Ligue 1 officials for his comments attacking France and its referees.
The 33-year-old Swedish star will miss PSG's games against Nice, Lille, Metz and Nantes as a result of his widely televised rant in which he said France did not deserve a team like the star-studded Paris Saint-Germain because of the way it is treated.
He was also heard describing France as a "shit country".
A day after scoring a brilliant hat-trick, Ibrahimovic stayed away from Thursday's hearing of the disciplinary commission of the Professional Football League (LFP).
He was instead represented by a lawyer and two PSG officials.
LFP commission president Sebastien Deneux said Ibrahimovic's comments were "rude and insulting".
Sweden's star striker took exception to some of the decisions made by referee Lionel Jaffredo in a game against Bordeaux in March and cut a furious figure at the final whistle when he stormed down the tunnel.
"In 15 years, I have never seen such a referee. In this shit country, this country does not deserve PSG." the striker blasted in English at the final whistle.
"PSG shouldn't be in this country. We are too good for this country," he added.
In an extended clip shown on the Canal+ television channel, the Swede was also seen accosting the referee, whom he calls an "idiot".
Politicians were soon sounding off about Ibrahimovic's words with the minister of sport demanding an apology and the National Front leader Marine Le Pen inviting the Sweden striker to leave the country.
"Those who consider France a shit country can leave it," she said.
It wasn't long before the big Swede was offering his excuses for the rant.
In a statement released after the game Ibrahimovic apologised saying: "My words were not targeting France or the French people. I was speaking about football and nothing else.
"I was speaking when I was annoyed and everyone knows that at these moments you can speak without thinking," he said.
Ibrahimovic will already be missing for the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Barcelona next week after his recent sending off against Chelsea.