Santiago: Neymar has blamed the referee for his dismissal after Brazil’s Copa America loss to Colombia, claiming he cannot help but get “p****d” off by “weak” officiating. Jeison Murillo scored the only goal of the game in Santiago, the defender firing home nine minutes before the break.
However, the real drama arrived just after the full-time whistle, when Neymar drove the ball into Colombia fullback Pablo Armero, who then dramatically fell to the floor. Murillo tried to calm the Brazilian down but Neymar responded by appearing to attempt a headbutt on Murillo.
Neymar. Pic/ AFP
Colombia’s Carlos Bacca then got involved, pushing Neymar in the back, which sparked a mass brawl involving more players, substitutes and backroom staff.
Referee Enrique Osses promptly issued red cards to both the Brazil skipper and Bacca for their respective roles in the fracas but Neymar felt his post-game dismissal was wholly undeserved. Indeed, Neymar claimed that the official was responsible for bringing things to a head by booking him for what he felt was an accidental handball during the first half.
The forward was also upset that while he was booked in Brazil’s tournament opener against Peru for wiping away the referee’s disappearing foam, Colombia’s Juan Cuadrado escaped sanction for the same offence.
“The rules are always used against me,” Neymar told SporTV. “They clean the disappearing foam and do not receive yellow but I do. “The ball was in my hand but it was not intentional — I was falling — and received yellow. Things happen. Put a weak referee to referee and this happens. Nothing made me crazy. I just get p****d with the referees who don’t whistle right.”
Neymar will now definitely miss Brazil’s final group game, against Venezuela on Sunday, but his suspension could be lengthened by Copa America’s disciplinary panel.
After the full-time whistle, Neymar drives the ball into Colombia full-back Pablo Armero, who then dramatically falls to the floor. Jeison Murillo tries to calm the Brazil captain down but the Barcelona attacker responded by appearing to attempt a headbutt on the matchwinner. Colombia’s Carlos Bacca then gets involved, pushing Neymar in the back, which sparks a mass brawl involving more players, substitutes and backroom staff.