Ribery facing lengthy Serie A ban for pushing linesman in Lazio loss


The Frenchman was caught taking his full-time frustrations out on an assistant referee following his side’s dramatic defeat

Fiorentina star Franck Ribery could be banned for several Serie A games after being caught on camera pushing a linesman following his side’s 2-1 loss to Lazio. 

The former Bayern Munich winger had provided the assist for Fiorentina’s 27th-minute equaliser but could only look on from the sidelines as Lazio scored a controversial late winner. 

In build up to Ciro Immobile’s 89th-minute header, Fiorentina were adamant they should have been awarded a foul but the referee ruled play on and Ribery seemed to be trying to protest that decision after the final whistle. 

Filmed in heated conversation with a linesman, Ribery has been seen twice pushing the official and before ultimately being dragged away by a Fiorentina staff member. 

Serie A officials later confirmed that Ribery was shown a post-match red card for the contact and has been now facing a long-term suspension. 

Early indications suggest a minimum three-match ban awaits the Frenchman, though Serie A are keen to crack down on any mistreatment of referees and could come down harder on a figure such as Ribery. 

The star winger has had an otherwise successful start to life in Italy with two goals and two assists to his name after nine appearances. 

Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella decided to substitute Ribery with 10 minutes remaining against Lazio with the 36-year-old visibly unhappy about being withdrawn. 

“I thought he looked tired, maybe he was angry because he wanted to come off earlier,” Montella joked to Sky Sport Italia post-match.

“He’s a champion, I like the adrenaline and passion, he’ll have plenty of time to give his contribution. I was a forward, I know what it was like being substituted.”

Montella also expressed his disappointment that Lazio’s winner was allowed to stand and believes VAR should have intervened. 

“I don’t understand when there’s a decisive incident in the final minutes and you have this technology, why not use it? Just take a minute and go look,” he said.

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“I said to the referee, if you see it afterwards and think it wasn’t a foul, I’ll buy you a coffee. If you see it and think it was a foul, you can buy me a coffee.

“We all stood around for four minutes waiting for the VAR to say if he should see it or not. If he’d just gone and looked at it, it would’ve been a minute or two longer, but at least we’d all be sure.

“He may well have made the same decision that it wasn’t a foul, but at least we’d have the confidence he’d seen it.”




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