Ibrahimovic’s ban reduced to three games

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Paris, April 18 (IANS) French football club Paris Saint-Germain were happy to learn that their star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Ligue 1 ban has been reduced from four matches to three.

The French football league (LFP) accepted the proposal of the French Olympic Committee (CNOSF) on Friday to shorten the ban.

Ibrahimovic was initially handed the punishment since he was caught on camera cursing referee Lionel Jaffredo after last month’s 2-3 defeat to Bordeaux, reports Xinhua.

“In 15 years, I have never seen such a referee. In this shit country… the country does not deserve the PSG,” he said in partial sentences while walking towards changing rooms.

His rant against France was heard and captured in footage by a TV channel and the clip was posted online and soon went viral. The 33-year-old later issued an apology, insisting he wasn’t speaking about the nation as a whole.

With his ban being reduced, the Swede will miss PSG’s Ligue 1 games against Nice, Lille and Metz and can be expected to return to action on May 2 when PSG visit Nante.

He missed the Ligue 1 champions’ 1-3 home defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League quarterfinal first leg on Wednesday, after being red-carded in his last Champions League outing at Chelsea.

“Paris Saint-Germain is happy that the LFP has accepted the April 17 proposition by the CNOSF’s conciliators, concerning the striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The player also confirms he has accepted the conciliatory proposition to reduce his suspension to three matches,” a PSG statement said late on Friday.

“The capital club takes this opportunity to invite the other actors of French football — club presidents and players, to focus on the end of the season rather than meddle in the matters of Paris Saint-Germain. Paris Saint-Germain respects all clubs and refuses to pass comment on their affairs and asks the same in return.”

Marseille playmaker Dimitri Payet also had his two-game sanction reduced to one after aiming expletives at the closed door of the match officials’ dressing room following a goalless draw against Lyon.

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