PARIS: Zlatan Ibrahimovic has apologise after insulting remarks about France were caught on a pitch-side microphone after Paris Saint-Germain’s 3-2 defeat at Bordeaux in the French league on Sunday.

Ibrahimovic, initially complaining to the fourth official over controversial decisions against the champions, appeared to have said: “F***ing wake up – we’re not playing in the amateurs. Wake up! I have never seen that in 15 years in my career, such a referee in this s*** country. [You] don’t even deserve PSG to be in this country.”

Later Sweden forward said he was sorry after French Sports minister Patrick Kanner asked him to apologise for the comments, which were caught on camera and then shown widely on social media.

He said: “Regarding my comments after tonight’s game: they were not against France or the French people. I spoke about football. I lost the game, I accept that, but I can’t accept when the referee doesn’t follow the rules. It’s not the first time, and I’m sick of it. My sincere apologies if anyone was offended, or took it the wrong way.”

Kanner later greeted Ibrahimovic’s clarification as “a welcome apology from this great champion.”

The Sweden forward scored twice in Sunday’s match on his return to action after a two-match ban following an altercation with a Saint-Etienne player and a third yellow card in 10 matches.

After he was sent off for a late challenge on Oscar in the first half of PSG’s match at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday in the Champions League, Ibrahimovic described the Chelsea players as a bunch of “babies.”