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Le Pen invites Zlatan to leave France after rant

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Le Pen invites Zlatan to leave France after rant
Ibrahimovic called France a "s**t country" then took back his words. Photo: AFP
22:25 CET+01:00
PSG's Zlatan Ibrahimovic called France a "shit country" in an angry rant on Sunday after his team lost at Bordeaux. The National Front's Marine Le Pen responded by saying he was welcome to leave.

Paris Saint-Germain suffered a Champions League hangover on Sunday as sloppy defending cost them a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Bordeaux and also dented the defence of their Ligue 1 crown.

PSG, who gave the French capital a boost with their dramatic Champions League last-16 victory over Chelsea on Wednesday, came back down to earth with a thud following a disjointed display at the Chaban-Delmas stadium in the south-west.

Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic had equalised twice for Laurent Blanc's side, who remain in the hunt for four trophies, but Diego Rolan popped up in the 89th minute to steer the ball home when the central defence collapsed.

Sweden's Ibrahimovic took exception to some of the decisions made by referee Lionel Jaffredo and cut a furious figure at the final whistle when he stormed down the tunnel.

"In 15 years, I have never seen such a referee. In this shit country, this country does not deserve PSG." the striker blasted in English at the final whistle.

"PSG shouldn't be in this country. We are too good for this country," the giant striker added.

In an extended clip shown on Canal+ television channel, the Swede is also seen accosting the referee, whom he calls an "idiot".

PSG coach Laurent Blanc tried to play down the incident in a post-match press conference, suggesting Ibrahimovic was just "annoyed".

"Don't you get annoyed too?" he asked journalists. "But when you are annoyed there's not normally a microphone there."

Politicians were soon sounding off about Ibrahimovic's words with the minister of sport demanding an apology and the National Front leader Marine Le Pen inviting the Sweden striker to leave the country.

"Those who consider France a shit country can leave it," she said. 

Jerome Guedj, a leading Socialist party politician, called the remarks "unacceptable". "Let him play football and shut up, or at least be respectful of this country, the football supporters who were also insulted."

It wasn't long before the big Swede was offering his excuses for the rant.

In a statement released later on Sunday Ibrahimovic apologised saying: "My words were not targeting France or the French people. I was speaking about football and nothing else.

"I was speaking when I was annoyed and everyone knows that at these moments you can speak without thinking," he said.

The French league will study the Swedish player's latest outburst at a meeting on Thursday and could take sanctions. 

   
The French referees union, SAFE, hit out at what it called "a new torrent of hate and verbal violence" by Ibrahimovic.
   
"There are limits that cannot be and must not be crossed," the union said, highlighting the "growing violence" at football matches even at local level.
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