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 is 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 is 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.
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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decided to substitute Ribery with 10 minutes remaining against Lazio with the 36-year-old visibly unhappy about being withdrawn.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.
“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.”