Champions League news

Ibrahimovic delighted with ban reduction

March 27, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's agent has spoken of his client's delight at being able to take part in "a unique moment in PSG's season" after UEFA reduced his ban, allowing him to play in next week's Champions League quarter-final with Barcelona.

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Ibrahimovic, 31, was initially suspended for next Tuesday's first-leg encounter with one of his former clubs after being given a two-game ban for being sent off late in PSG's first-leg triumph at Valencia in the previous round.

However, after an appeal hearing at UEFA HQ in Switzerland on Tuesday, the Sweden international was given the green light to face the Catalan giants at the Parc des Princes.

"Zlatan is very happy with this decision. It means a lot to him to play in a Champions League quarter-final," Mino Raiola is reported as saying in Le Parisien. "Not because it's a match against Barca, one of his former clubs, but rather because it's a unique moment in PSG's season."

Le Parisien reports Francois Klein, one of PSG's lawyers specialised in sports law, highlighted a number of previous red cards and the suspension incurred, notably that of Manchester United's Nani against Real Madrid, which earned the Portugal international a one-match ban this season, to argue Ibrahimovic had been harshly treated.

The former Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan forward returned to PSG's training centre at the Camp des Loges on Tuesday afternoon after being allowed to leave his nation's get-together ahead of their friendly in Slovakia.