Earlier today, the official verdict arrived on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s red card, as the sporting judge confirmed that he will be banned for one game. A blow for Milan, of course, but above all a tough call to swallow.
As highlighted by Matteo Calcagni of MilanNews, the red card is difficult to explain thanks to the crystal clear audio available, revealing no insults from Ibrahimovic. Yet, the 39-year-old has been heavily criticised by media since the game on Sunday.
Looking at the numbers, though, it paints a very different picture as Ibrahimovic has received just two yellow cards in Serie A this season (vs. Inter and Roma). In 16 games, he has never been punished for a ‘provocative attitude’, as the sporting judge described it.
There was the clash between him and Lukaku in the Coppa Italia, of course, but the blame must be split between the two for that one. Yet, no one has questioned the attitude of Lukaku, despite the fact he has been booked twice for protests in the league.
Sure, Ibrahimovic could have kept silent at the Tardini but at the same time, it’s very clear that the red card was completely the wrong call. At most, it should have led to a yellow, which would have seemed silly as well based on the audio.
As Calcagni concludes, if the standard of Maresca is used on every game, then there would be three or four red cards each game. But above all, the criticism in media for Ibrahimovic is completely unjustified and must stop.