FC Barcelona star Neymar insists he did not do anything to the referee to deserve a four-game ban after his side’s 1-0 Copa America loss to Colombia.
The striker insisted he did not get physical with the referee, contrary to the reports that he grabbed one of the match officials by the neck.
Neymar said: “Nothing happened in the tunnel, basically. I was inside it, and waiting to ask the ref why he dismissed me.”
“Then a huddle took place and security guards came in, thinking I was nervous, that I wanted to attack him. That’s how it came to this.”
It is hard to not believe what the FC Barcelona man is claiming, considering there is no mention of the neck grabbing incident in the referee’s post match report, making it pretty obvious that it did not happen. Should it have, the referee would have definitely mentioned it.
South American federation CONMEBOLa s disciplinary committee had extended the provisional one game ban for the FC Barcelona star to four games following his behavior in the aftermath of Brazila s 1-0 defeat to Colombia.
The suspension means that Neymar will not play any part in Brazil’s Copa America campaign. Neymar then decided he should leave the Brazil Copa America camp. He revealed the choice for him to leave had been a joint one.
“It was a family decision to leave,” the FC Barcelona forward told Jornal Nacional. “I talked to my father, and then I told Dunga and team manager Gilmar Rinaldi. They agreed.
Regardless of his presence, Neymar remains confident his Brazil teammates have the quality and experience to win the Copa America after seeing them progress to the quarter-finals.
“I think there’s a lot of life in Selecao without Neymar. The players have shown that they can win games and win Copa America,” he continued.
“Brazil has plenty of great players. I’m absolutely confident of this team and the players that are there representing it. They are all big names who’ll take care of business.”
Brazil will face Paraguay, the team that knocked them out on penalties at the same stage in 2011, this Saturday, without the FC Barcelona star. If same fate were to unfold on Saturday, Neymar would rue the moment of madness against Colombia, further.