Various media outlets are reporting Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be formally punished for a collision with fullback Mohamed El-Munir in the late stages of Friday’s highly charged El Trafico. Rather Ibrahimovic has been given an official warning from the league office.
In the fourth minute of stoppage time Zlatan and El-Munir collided during an aerial challenge and Ibra’s elbow inadvertently smashed the side of the LAFC defender’s face resulting in the Libyan suffering a facial fracture.
I'm told that PRO Referees GM Howard Webb consulted outside referees to get their opinion on Ibra/El-Munir incident. *Their* consensus was that since Ibra's elbow wasn't cocked & hand wasn't clenched (meaning less force) it was only worthy of a yellow card. #MLS #LAFC #LAGalaxy— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) July 24, 2019
As ESPN’s Jeff Carilsle notes, PRO spoke with experienced referees to help ensure a fair verdict.
The decision isn’t a popular one with fans of opposing teams, but if you’ve ever played a game of basketball in your life you would understand El-Munir’s positioning on the play was somewhat naive: Jumping from a standing position without protecting your head vs. someone almost a foot on you is a dangerous proposition. Tragic as El-Munir’s injury is, it doesn’t translate to malice on the part of Zlatan.