Paris Saint-Germain striker Neymar has been banned for two games for his part in the brawl at the end of the Ligue 1 game against Marseille on Sunday.
The match became a subject of controversy as five players including Neymar were given red cards for being involved in a brawl. Neymar was one of five players sent off during injury time at the end of Marseille’s 1-0 win over PSG in the latter’s Ligue 1 return.
Neymar also has a third game under a suspended sentence, with Leandro Paredes given the same punishment. Layvin Kurzawa has been suspended for six matches while Marseille player Jordan Amavi has been suspended for three games while Dario Benedetto will miss the next match.
After the match, Neymar took to Twitter to say that he regretted not hitting Gonzalez in the face while the Marseille defender said that he did not make any racial slurs and Neymar needs to learn how to lose.
On Monday, Neymar again released a lengthy statement saying that he regretted how the entire situation unfolded, but he also asked the people in power to address the issue of racism in sport.
“Yesterday I revolted. I was punished with red because I wanted to hit someone who offended me. 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. During the game, I wanted to answer as always: playing football. The facts showed that I did not succeed. I revolted. 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 wrote on Instagram.
“I am black, son of black, grandson and great-grandson of black also. I am proud and do not see myself as different from anyone. Yesterday, I wanted those in charge of the game (referees, assistants) to position themselves impartially and to understand that there is no longer such a place for a prejudiced attitude. Reflecting and seeing all the manifestation of what happened, I am saddened by the feeling of hatred that we can provoke when, in the heat of the moment, we snap,” he had added.