• Ligue 1

Ibrahimovic facing action over gun gesture

ESPN staff
October 4, 2013 « Hodgson to appear on Match of the Day | Chartbeat test »
Ibra in hot water


Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been called before a French league disciplinary commission following a gesture he made to the Toulouse bench during Paris Saint-Germain's 2-0 win last weekend.

Ibrahimovic, who turned 32 on Thursday, appeared to mimic pointing a gun in the direction of the visiting bench as he was being substituted.

The Swedish striker was replaced midway through the second half, directly after being involved in an altercation with Toulouse defender Abel Aguilar.

Ahead of their next meeting on October 24, league authorities will also gather evidence from Toulouse, the assistant referee and the fourth official.

Eurosport, citing sources at Toulouse, suggest that the gesture was aimed at defender Jonathan Zebina. The Toulouse substitute was a teammate of Ibrahimovic at Juventus, where they once infamously clashed at training.

On Thursday Toulouse manager Alain Casanova outlined his disappointment with the stand-in PSG captain.

"They're not gestures that I like or appreciate on a football pitch," he said at his weekly pre-match press conference.

"Afterwards it's difficult for the amateur world to explain to children that you shouldn't do these kind of things.

"I'm convinced that, seeing these images again, even he must regret this gesture."

In his latest book, Ibrahimovic wrote that he hit Zebina after being on the end of a robust tackle. But the Frenchman had a different version of events.

"Maybe he needed publicity for his book," Zebina told RMC recently. "He sold lots of them and that's good for him.

"It's better to say 'I caught him with a good right and he fell to the ground' than 'my fingernail brushed his eye."

Meanwhile, former Marseille, AC Milan and Bayern Munich striker Jean-Pierre Papin believes Ibrahimovic has changed his style since the arrival of Napoli attacker Edinson Cavani this summer.

"He's adapted to the team," Papin told Le Parisien. "With the presence of Cavani in particular, he's playing more like a playmaker. And it's a position that suits him very well."

Less prolific this season, Ibrahimovic reminded people of his scoring threat with a double against Benfica in the Champions League on Tuesday. Papin believes that, as he gets older, the Swede is managing his game more carefully.

"Outside of set pieces, he doesn't defend. Other younger players, like Cavani, can do more of the running. Ibra saves all his energy for when his team is on the attack."

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