Bournemouth to contest Tyrone Mings’ FA charge
Defender’s left boot landed on the head of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Saturday’s draw
Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Bournemouth’s Tyrone Mings are spoken to by referee Kevin Friend during Saturday’s draw. Photograph: Reuters
Bournemouth will contest Tyrone Mings’ alleged violent conduct charge and the Football Association’s recommendation he serves a longer ban, according to reports.
The 23-year-old Cherries player and Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic were both charged on Monday for incidents in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, where Mings’ left boot landed on the head of the 35-year-old before the Swede’s elbow struck the defender in the face.
In announcing the charges, the FA argued that the standard three-match ban Mings would serve was “clearly insufficient”, and it’s understood that Bournemouth intend to challenge the suggestion of an increased suspension.
A three-match punishment would rule Mings out of Bournemouth’s fixtures with West Ham, Swansea and Southampton, but a ban of greater length would see him possibly sidelined when his team face Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham.
His tussle with Ibrahimovic was ignited on the stroke of half-time on Saturday when, in looking to hurdle both Wayne Rooney and the Swede, Mings’ boot caught the United striker behind the ear.
Later in the same United attack, Mings and Ibrahimovic went up for a header and the latter’s right elbow struck the former in the face. Both players escaped punishment at the time as referee Kevin Friend did not see the incidents, and they were charged on Monday once a panel of three former elite referees had reviewed the video footage.
United and England captain Rooney had called for Mings to be punished for the action while ex-Liverpool defender and television pundit Jamie Carragher labelled the stamp “disgraceful” — yet the Cherries defender denied he had purposely stepped on Ibrahimovic.
“It wasn’t intentional,” Mings said. “If there is reaction (from pundits), there is reaction after.
“They have time to slow it down and look at it from different angles.
“When you are out there on the pitch you have to try and get back in and defend.
“I obviously didn’t mean it, but if there is reaction, there is reaction — everyone will have an opinion. That is football.”
Like Mings, Ibrahimovic has been given until 6pm on Tuesday to respond to his charge.
He stands to miss next Monday’s FA Cup quarter-final clash at Chelsea and Premier League encounters with Middlesbrough and West Brom.
Ibrahimovic later had a second-half penalty saved in the game as United drew for the seventh time at home in the league, and his bad day has since been compounded by the possibility of retrospective punishment.
The 35-year-old seemed prepared to accept such an eventuality when quizzed on the matter following Saturday’s game.
“I respect every decision,” he said.
“I am not here to attack anybody. My purpose was not to do that. The game is hard.”