PSG backs Neymar over racist abuse complaint in Marseille fixture
Bad-tempered match marked by sending off of five players following mass brawl on pitch
PSG’s Neymar walks off after seeing red during the league game against Marseille at the Parc de Princes in Paris on Sunday. Photograph: Getty
Paris Saint-Germain have thrown their support behind Neymar after the Brazil forward reported being a target of a racist slur during the French champions’ 0-1 home defeat by Olympique de Marseille on Sunday.
Neymar (28) was one of five players sent off during the match at the Parc des Princes. He then told the fourth official he had heard a racist comment while walking off the pitch.
On Monday PSG urged the French league’s governing body (LFP) to investigate the matter.
“Paris Saint-Germain strongly supports Neymar jnr who reported being subjected to racist abuse by an opposing player,” said the club.
“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.
“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.”
Punching and kicking
The clash was littered with fouls throughout and boiled over in the last minute of stoppage time when a full-scale brawl erupted on the pitch.
Neymar, who struck Spaniard Alvaro Gonzalez on the back of the head, said after the match that his only regret was not hitting the Marseille defender in the face.
He also said he wanted the match officials to “position themselves impartially . . . I was punished with a 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. In our sport, aggressions, insult, swearing are part of the game of the dispute . . . but racism and intolerance are unacceptable.”