The referee who sent off Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Paris Saint-Germain in a Champions League game against Chelsea back in March 2015 has admitted that he made the wrong decision.
After a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Round of 16 tie and the second leg tensely poised at 0-0, Dutch official Bjorn Kuipers dismissed the Swedish striker after 31 minutes at Stamford Bridge after a 50-50 challenge with Oscar.
The controversial tackle, which you can see below, saw Kuipers immediately reach to his pocket for the red card after Chelsea players quickly surrounded him in protest and Oscar rolled around on the floor in supposed agony, even though Ibrahimovic appeared to pull out:
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The call left Ibrahimovic's PSG teammates fuming, however the ten-men dug deep to produce a spirited display and they advanced to the quarter-finals of the competition after extra-time thanks to goals from David Luiz and captain Thiago Silva.
Kuipers admits he was wrong
That said, Kuipers has conceded that he was wrong to send Ibrahimovic off and also revealed that he told the current Manchester United centre-forward exactly that at the time of the incident.
Whilst appearing on the Netherlands talkshow Pauw, the 43-year-old said, via Goal: "Our worst match ever was Chelsea-PSG in March 2015 in which I gave Ibrahimovic a red card after 31 minutes."
He continued: "I was convinced it was a red card. After seeing the videos, I could have given the red card, but a yellow would have been better.
"After the match I sat with Zlatan in the dressing room and we spoke about that (the red card). I told him that I was convinced during the match (that it was a red card) but that I was wrong."
Chelsea players acted like babies
In a post-match interview after the encounter in London, the mercurial Ibrahimovic, slammed Kuipers' decision and also criticised the Chelsea players for acting like babies following the tackle.
"For me, when I saw the red card, I was like, 'the guy (the referee) doesn't know what he's doing' or maybe he saw something else," Ibrahimovic began.
"But that is not the worst, the worst is when I see (when I get the red card) all the Chelsea players come around. That, for me, I don't know, it felt like I had eleven babies around me."
Did YOU think it was a red card? What do YOU make of Kuipers' revelation? Leave YOUR opinion in the comments box below!
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