Paris Saint-Germain’s star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be suspended after losing his temper following the champions’ 3-2 loss at Bordeaux in the French league on Sunday.
Ibrahimovic vented his anger at decisions which went against his side in Sunday’s game, saying in English “in 15 years I’ve never seen a referee” like Lionel Jaffredo. He then used an expletive to describe France as he walked past reporters after the game.
The Swedish forward later said he was sorry after the French sports minister asked him to apologize for the comments, which were caught on camera and then shown widely on social media.
” want to clarify that my remarks were directed at neither France nor the French,” Ibrahimovic said in a statement on PSG’s website.
“I spoke about football and nothing else. I lost the match, and I accept it, but I don’t accept that the referee does not follow the rules. I want to apologize if people have been offended.”
Sports minister Patrick Kanner later used Twitter to describe Ibrahimovic’s clarification as “a welcome apology from this great champion.”
The Sweden forward scored twice in Sunday’s match but could not prevent his team from slumping to its third league defeat this season.
Ibrahimovic, who recently returned from a two-match ban following an altercation with a Saint-Etienne player and a third yellow card in 10 matches, has never been shy of controversy.
After he was sent off for a late challenge on Oscar in the first half of PSG’s match at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday in the Champions League, Ibrahimovic described the Chelsea players as a bunch of “babies.”
All red-cards in UEFA matches are reviewed to possibly extend mandatory one-match bans. But Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho has defended Ibrahimovic, saying he had no ill intent and should be cleared to play in the quarterfinals next month.
PSG advanced on the away goals rule, 3-3 on aggregate.