September 15 – Paris Saint-Germain say they “strongly support” Neymar after the Brazilian superstar claimed he was the victim of racist abuse following his red card in Sunday’s ill-tempered defeat to Marseille.
Neymar will discover his punishment on Wednesday for being one of five players sent off following a full-scale brawl at the end of the game.
“Paris Saint-Germain strongly supports Neymar Jr. who reported being subjected to racist abuse by an opposing player,” the French champions said in a statement. “The club restates that there is no place for racism in society, in football or in our lives and calls on everyone to speak out against all forms of racism throughout the world.”
The world’s most expensive footballer was shown a red card in stoppage time of the 1-0 loss at the Parc des Princes alongside teammates Layvin Kurzawa and Leandro Paredes and Marseille’s Dario Benedetto and Jordan Amavi.
In a series of furious tweets Neymar insisted Alvaro Gonzalez called him a “monkey” saying that was the reason he slapped the Marseille defender on the back of the head.
“Look at the racism. That’s why I hit him,” Neymar, who was returning from coronavirus quarantine, said as he left the pitch. “The only regret I have is not hitting this idiot in the face.” Gonzalez later denied making a racist comment.
Neymar claims he hit out at Gonzalez after realising match officials “would not do anything”.
“I am black, the son of a black man, the grandson and great-grandson of black men,” he said in an Instagram post. “I’m proud and do not see myself as different from anyone else.
“Yesterday, I wanted those in charge of the game (referees and assistants) to be impartial and understand there is no place for such prejudice.”
“Should I have ignored it? I don’t know yet… With a cool head today, I say yes, but my team-mates and I asked the referees for help and we were ignored. That’s the point!”
Marseille defended Gonzalez in a statement of their own saying the player had been the target of “constant harassment, consisting in particular of death threats” in the Brazilian media.
“”Alvaro Gonzalez is not racist, he demonstrated it to us by his daily behaviour since joining the club, as his team-mates have already testified,” the statement read.
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