Neymar speaks out over racist abuse and banana-throwing incident during Scotland game
Accusations mar aftermath of friendly
19-year-old wonderkid Neymar expressed his disappointment with certain sections of Scottish support during Brazil‘s 2-0 gambol around the Emirates yesterday, claiming he was the victim of racial abuse throughout the match.
TV cameras had earlier picked up Liverpool’s Lucas Leiva removing a banana thrown onto the pitch immediately after Neymar converted a penalty kick late in the second half.
Speaking to reporters after the match, the striker said:
I feel great and scored two but what happened with the banana is sad. I don’t want to make a big deal of it. I was running down the touchline in the second half and saw it but I didn’t see where it came from.
They were jeering me a lot, even when I was about to kick the penalty. The entire stadium was jeering. This atmosphere of racism is totally sad. We leave our country to play here and something like this happens. It’s sad. I’d rather not even talk about it, to keep the subject from escalating.
Lucas Leiva added:
There is no more space for racism in the world. They say it’s the first world here in Europe but it’s where it happens the most. That has to change. Everybody is equal today. It’s a matter of respect.
Both the Scottish FA and the country’s supporters association have strongly refuted the claims. The Guardian notes the banana appears to have been thrown from an area of the stadium almost entirely occupied by Brazilian support.
An SFA spokesperson told PA Sport:
There has been no such incident reported to the police or the stadium safety officer. In fact, the tens of thousands of Scotland supporters who travelled to the Emirates were commended for their behaviour.
The Scotland supporters are known the world over for their impeccable behaviour and we have no reason to believe that, after speaking to the relevant authorities, they have been anything other than exemplary.
While a Tartan Amy spokesman said:
The reason Neymar was booed was because we believed he was feigning injury. Racism has no place in the Tartan Army, and if it did, it would be stamped out immediately, because we are self-policing.
Any suggestion of racism from the Tartan Army today, as far as I am concerned, is absolute rubbish. We accept that Brazil played us off the park, and we applauded them for that.