Neymar faces ban over fan altercation

Neymar has been taken to task by Brazilian media after PSG's defeat by Rennes.
Neymar has been taken to task by Brazilian media after PSG's defeat by Rennes.

PARIS • Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar is facing a lengthy suspension from the French Football Federation after he was filmed hitting a fan shouting abuse as the team filed up to collect their French Cup runners-up medals on Saturday.

A 28-year-old supporter from Nantes had been filming the players and mocking them as "worthless" when the forward, who was clearly incensed, grabbed the hand holding the mobile phone and shoved it towards the fan's face.

While authorities have yet to determine what action he will face, French broadcaster RMC have reported that he is looking at a ban of between five and eight matches.

The incident has capped a miserable few days for the world's most expensive player at €222 million (S$338.9 million).

Last Friday, Uefa slapped a three-match European football ban on Neymar after his foul-mouthed tirade at officials following PSG's Champions League last-16 defeat by Manchester United.

The shock French Cup loss to Rennes, going out 6-5 on penalties after the final ended in a 2-2 draw, also meant that the cash-rich French champions have missed out on multiple trophies for the first time since 2013.

Neymar has since defended his reaction on his Instagram page, admitting that though he "acted badly, no one can stay indifferent".

However, his transgressions have gone down like a lead balloon with both PSG coach Thomas Tuchel and the Brazilian media.

Asked about the scuffle, the German coach blasted: "I don't like it. You can't do that, you just can't do that. It's not easy to go up the steps after a defeat. It's very difficult for me, for everybody, but we have to accept it.

"If we lose, we have to show respect. You can't get into a fight with a spectator."

Media back home, including daily Folha and website Terra, also took on a similar tone, branding the Brazil international a "coward" and "rebellious adolescent" and "appears incapable of dealing with criticism, of dealing with frustrations".

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2019, with the headline 'Neymar faces ban over fan altercation'. Print Edition | Subscribe