Neymar: I acted like a fool

Updated: 16 September, 2020 07:39 IST | AFP | Paris

PSG striker Neymar Jr regrets picking up red card after brawl against Marseille but insists racism is unacceptable

PSG's Neymar walks off the  ground after receiving a red card against Marseille on Sunday. PIC/AFP
PSG's Neymar walks off the ground after receiving a red card against Marseille on Sunday. PIC/AFP

Neymar said he "acted like a fool" following his red card against Marseille but called on football officials to do more to combat discrimination after accusing Spanish defender Alvaro Gonzalez of racism. The Brazil forward was one of five players sent off after a mass brawl at the end of PSG's 1-0 loss in Ligue 1 on Sunday, and later claimed Gonzalez had called him a "monkey" in a series of furious tweets.

PSG stands by Neymar

PSG have stood by the world's most expensive player, saying the club "strongly supports" him, but Neymar conceded he would accept his punishment which is expected to be revealed by the French league's disciplinary commission today. "Yesterday I revolted. I was punished with red because I wanted to hit someone who offended me," Neymar said in a lengthy Instagram post on Monday.

"I thought I could not leave without doing something because I realised that those in charge would not do anything, did not notice or ignored the fact." Neymar was dismissed for slapping Gonzalez on the back of the head, with teammates Layvin Kurzawa and Leandro Paredes also sent off, as well as Marseille's Dario Benedetto and Jordan Amavi. "In our sport, aggressions, insults, swearing are part of the game, of the dispute. You can't be affectionate. I understand this guy partly, all is part of the game, but racism and intolerance are unacceptable," Neymar continued.

"Should I have ignored it? I don't know yet...today, with a cool head, I say yes, but in due course, my companions and I asked the referees for help and we were ignored.

'I accept punishment'

"I accept my punishment because I should have followed the path of clean football. I hope, on the other hand, that the offender will also be punished. "Racism exists. It exists, but we have to stop it. No more. Enough" "The guy was a fool. I also acted like a fool for letting me get involved in that," he added.

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First Published: 16 September, 2020 07:11 IST

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