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Ibra escapes punishment for elbow on El-Munir – ESPN

July 24, 2019


Nicol: Zlatan’s elbow on El-Munir was ‘intentional’ (2:31)

Steve Nicol and Shaka Hislop strongly disagree with MLS’s decision not to punish Zlatan Ibrahimovic for an alleged elbow incident during El Trafico. (2:31)

4:41 PM ET

  • Jeff CarlisleU.S. soccer correspondent


      Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC.

LA Galaxy forwardZlatan Ibrahimovichas escaped punishment from Major League Soccer, but was given a formal warning by the league’s Disciplinary Committee for elbowing LAFC defenderMohamed El-Munirlate in last Friday’s3-2 LA Derby winat Dignity Health Sports Park.

The incident, whichleft El-Munir with a facial fracture, took place in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time when the two players were involved in an aerial duel, with Ibrahimovic elbowing the LAFC defender on the right side of his face.

Ibrahimovic wasn’t carded during the game — but a foul was called as a result of the incident — and he was confronted by LAFC assistant Zak Abdel after the final whistle.

An LAFC staffer confirmed to ESPN FC that El-Munir will undergo surgery this Fridayto repair the fracture. El-Munir is expected to miss a minimum of four weeks.

In order to punish Ibrahimovic with a suspension for this incident, the MLS Disciplinary committee needed to vote unanimously that the incident was deserving of a red card, and it rose to the level of a two-game suspension. The Disciplinary Committee didn’t reach a unanimous verdict on those two issues.

Now that VAR has been introduced to MLS, it isleague policythat the Disciplinary Committee can’t issue one-game suspensions for on-field incidents that don’t result in a red card. Ibrahimovic has instead been given a formal warning, and could be suspended if he is involved in similar incidents in the future.

Ibrahimovicreceived a two-game ban in Mayfor grabbing New York City FC goalkeeperSean Johnsonby the neck in a 2-0 home defeat to NYCFC. He wasfined an undisclosed amount for divingin the May 8defeat to the Columbus Crew.

Ibrahimovic also made news earlier this season foralleged verbal threats and a post-match confrontationwith Real Salt Lake defenderNedum Onuoha.