Football

PSG 'strongly supports' Neymar as star makes racism allegation after red card vs Marseille


Paris Saint-Germain have offered their full support to Neymar, insisting they “strongly support” their star player, after the winger claimed that he was racially abused by Marseille’s Alvaro Gonzalez on Sunday night.

A stoppage-time brawl in the Ligue 1 clash between PSG and Marseille saw five players sent off, with the Brazilian seeing red in the ninth minute of time added on as the French champions fell to a 1-0 defeat on home soil, their second successive loss to start the season.

Neymar slapped Marseille defender Gonzalez on the back of the head with the Virtual Assistant Referee spotting the incident and advising the referee to dismiss the attacker.

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The 28-year-old could be heard telling the on-pitch officials that he had suffered racist abuse having clashed with Gonzalez throughout the match.

“The only regret I have is for not being in the face of this a*****e,” Neymar later tweeted after his red card.

He claimed in another tweet that Gonzalez called him a “monkey m**********r” and demanded that more action be taken in the fight against racism.

Gonzalez denies the accusations and said in a tweet of his own: “There is no place for racism. Clean race and with many colleagues and friends on a daily basis.

“Sometimes you have to learn to lose and take it on the field. Incredible 3 points today. Allez l’OM Thanks family.”

Neymar responded: “Insulting and bringing racism into our lives no, I don’t agree. I don’t respect you, you have no character.”

But PSG have come out in defence of the South American, insisting that they look forward to the incident being investigated by French football’s governing body.

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The LFP disciplinary committee are set to meet this week to discuss all five red cards and decide whether further action must be taken with each.

A PSG statement read on Monday evening: “Paris Saint-Germain strongly supports Neymar Jr. who reported being subjected to racist abuse by an opposing player.

“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.

“For more than 15 years the Club has been strongly committed to the fight against all forms of discrimination alongside its partners SOS Racisme, Licra and Sportitude.

“Paris Saint-Germain looks forward to the LFP’s Disciplinary Commission to investigate and ascertain the facts, and the Club remains at the LFP’s disposal for any assistance required.”

Neymar was one of five players sent off with team-mates Laywin Kurzawa and Leandro Paredes also given their marching order, while Dario Benedetto and Jordan Amavi saw red for Marseille.

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PSG sporting director Leonardo said of Neymar’s allegations on Sunday: “The fight is something very serious.

“We will deal with that internally with our players. We will have to look at everything to take a coherent stance but the situation is serious.

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“[Referee Jerome Brisard] lost his head. He officiated the League Cup final but he doesn’t have the experience for this kind of fixture.”

While Thomas Tuchel said: “What I heard? He [Neymar] told me that it was some racist insult, but I did not hear anything on the pitch.

“I think that everyone has the same opinion that racism in all the society, in sports or in our lives can’t exist.

“It’s obvious, but I did not hear that today, neither [did] the referee so I can’t answer this question.”

Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas added: “I don’t know. I hope not, there is no place for racism in football.

“It’s a serious fault if it happened but I don’t think so. Before that, we had a situation with a spit from [Angel] Di Maria.

“These are things to avoid in the world of football. I hope it won’t be a black spot in this historic performance.”

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