The manager says that the Swede doesn’t receive the benefit of foul calls like other MLS players
LA Galaxy coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto says that Zlatan Ibrahimovic needs more protection from the video assistant referee (VAR) following a series of incidents.
The Swedish star saw two penalty claims denied in the Galaxy’s last match, a 2-1 defeat to D.C. United.
Despite featuring in 19 MLS matches this season, Ibrahimovic has been fouled just 17 times, good for third-most on his own team.
Meanwhile, MLS leading goalscorer Carlos Vela has been fouled 71 times this season, second-most in the league behind the 81 suffered by Nicholas Lodeiro.
Overall, 111 players have been fouled more often than Ibrahimovic, who has scored 16 goals while providing three assists this season.
In May, Ibrahimovic was fined for simulation/embellishment by the MLS Disciplinary Committee but the former Paris Saint-Germain, Milan and Barcelona star also escaped punishment for an elbow on Mohamed El-Munir that required surgery for the Los Angeles FC defender.
Schelotto says that referees need assistance when it comes to officiating the hulking striker, who he believes is treated differently than some of the league’s other top stars.
“To be honest I think sometimes, in some plays, I don’t know why some referees do not use the VAR with Ibra because I could see the penalty for Columbus and I could see twice in the D.C. United game,” Schelotto told media on Tuesday.
“Everything that happens around Ibra is a matter for discussion. Maybe it happens with other teams but those teams or those players don’t attract the same attention. Because he is Ibra, situations are exaggerated a lot and also [for the referee] to claim [a foul] they have to be very clear.
“For Ibra it was a penalty. But if we have VAR, we need to use it because Ibra went to the floor and felt something and I don’t know why he [the referee] didn’t check it.”
Ibrahimovic joined the Galaxy for the 2018 MLS season as he scored 22 goals and provided 10 assists in 27 appearances during his debut campaign.
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However, it wasn’t enough to lead the Galaxy to the playoffs, a system which Ibrahimovic recently criticized while calling the way MLS crowns its champion “s***”.
The Galaxy currently sit fifth in the Western Conference, three points above the red line but also just two points away from second place.
Next up for Ibrahimovic and co. is a match against FC Dallas on Wednesday night.