Ibra escapes punishment for elbow on El-Munir
LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has escaped punishment from Major League Soccer, but was given a formal warning by the league's Disciplinary Committee for elbowing LAFC defender Mohamed El-Munir late in last Friday's 3-2 LA Derby win at Dignity Health Sports Park.
The incident, which left El-Munir with a facial fracture, took place in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time when the two players were involved in an aerial duel, with Ibrahimovic elbowing the LAFC defender on the right side of his face.
Ibrahimovic wasn't carded during the game -- but a foul was called as a result of the incident -- and he was confronted by LAFC assistant Zak Abdel after the final whistle.
An LAFC staffer confirmed to ESPN FC that El-Munir will undergo surgery this Friday to repair the fracture. El-Munir is expected to miss a minimum of four weeks.
In order to punish Ibrahimovic with a suspension for this incident, the MLS Disciplinary committee needed to vote unanimously that the incident was deserving of a red card, and it rose to the level of a two-game suspension. The Disciplinary Committee didn't reach a unanimous verdict on those two issues.
Now that VAR has been introduced to MLS, it is league policy that the Disciplinary Committee can't issue one-game suspensions for on-field incidents that don't result in a red card. Ibrahimovic has instead been given a formal warning, and could be suspended if he is involved in similar incidents in the future.
Ibrahimovic received a two-game ban in May for grabbing New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson by the neck in a 2-0 home defeat to NYCFC. He was fined an undisclosed amount for diving in the May 8 defeat to the Columbus Crew.
Ibrahimovic also made news earlier this season for alleged verbal threats and a post-match confrontation with Real Salt Lake defender Nedum Onuoha.
The Swedish star was fined, however, an undisclosed amount for a simulation/embellishment incident in the 29th minute of that match. LAFC and head coach Bob Bradley were also fined for violating the league's mass confrontation policy after players from both sides were involved in a shoving match in the 73rd minute.