(AA) – Le Monde’s sports editor Stephane Mandard has said that an outburst by Paris Saint-Germain’s Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been exploited politically.
The Swedish international was criticized for remarks after a game that French Ligue 1 title contenders PSG lost against Bordeaux 2-3 last weekend.
His outburst was caught on camera where he addressed one referee, saying: “F–ing wake up — we’re not playing in the amateurs. Wake up! I have never seen that in 15 years in my career, such a referee in this s— country.”
“You don’t even deserve PSG to be in this country,” Ibrahimovic continued.
Mandard says that Ibrahimovic’s words should not be regarded as a matter of state.
“I think that National Front leader (Marine) Le Pen exploiting the issue for policy insulted French people. Le Pen wanted to use it for the elections in the weekend”, said Mandard.
Le Pen had called on Ibrahimovic to leave France. “Those who consider France to be a s–t country can leave it,” Le Pen told the France Info radio station.
Mandard added that French people in general could tolerate PSG star’s behaviour; however, Ibrahimovic had risked his career and endangered the club.
“Ibrahimovic harmed his own image and the club’s reputation. In addition, the French Football Association will discuss the issue tomorrow (Thursday). He might be suspended for four matches,” Mandard said.
Mandard also said that the PSG powerhouse risked his team’s chances by being sent off during a UEFA Champions League match against Chelsea in London last week.
Another sports editor, Le Figaro’s Martin Couturie, said: “The decision about Ibrahimovic will set a precedent. French football cannot tolerate Ibrahimovic’s ‘enfant terrible’ image anymore. His act should be punished seriously.”
Couturie stated that the player aimed to criticize football in France, rather than the country. He also added that Ibrahimovic is having hard times and is losing his determination.
“Even though he scores, it is seen that he is scoring less this season and this could be the beginning of the end for him”, Couturie remarked.
He also mentioned Ibrahimovic’s possible suspension by saying: “In France, a player might be suspended for four matches, at the most, by insulting out on the pitch. If he (Ibrahimovic) got suspended, he will be back for the match against Olympique de Marseille on April 5. But he might be fairly affected after being ineligible for a month.”