Decisions over whether Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Tyrone Mings will be banned by the FA following incidents in Manchester United’s game against Bournemouth are set to be made this week.
The report from referee Kevin Friend will be a big determining factor in the process with Ibrahimovic and Mings guilty of violent conduct, albeit to separate degrees as Mings stamped on Zlatan’s head in what was a disgusting move.
Due to the FA rules, it depends on whether Friend says he saw the incidents during the game. If he didn’t, both players face retrospective bans.
Writing in The Times about the incidents, Paul Joyce said: “A decision will be made today whether to charge Mings and Ibrahimovic for two incidents at Old Trafford on Saturday.
“Mings could be hit with a longer suspension. Martin Skrtel and Diego Costa received three-match bans for stamping on opponents two seasons ago, but the FA may deem this a more serious incident given that Mings’s studs landed on Ibrahimovic’s head.”
If Ibrahimovic is suspended for three matches, Man United will have to cope without him for the FA Cup quarter-final away at Stamford Bridge as well as games against Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. He’s been vital to us this season, so that would be a real blow in our push for the top four.
But it all depends on what referee Friend saw in the game. The fact he pulled Ibrahimovic at the time for a long chat certainly indicates he at least saw something, although exactly what he saw won’t be known until his report is filed.
As for Mings, he can expect a lengthy ban of more than three matches. I expect the FA to make an example of Mings because you simply can’t stamp on a player’s head, end of story.