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.

8 responses so far
  • comoasconcebo // March 28, 2011 at 12:54 am

    It is very sad that this sort of thing continues to happen in Europe. These people were at the stadium, saw a show Neymar and offended him. That makes no sense. Regrettable.

  • AlMac // March 28, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Neymar picked up a load of abuse after his pathetic limping around as if he was mortally wounded in the first half. He then went on to run rings round the Scottish defence and score a great goal. Methinks he might have been feigning injury. Penalty wasn’t much better – looked very soft from the stands. If somebody threw a banana at him, then that person is an idiot. How Neymar can blame this on Scottish fans when it came from his own fans’ end is beyond me. This story is tripe.

  • R2Dad // March 28, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    This match happened at the Emirates, so Brazilian fans will assume racism still exists in the UK, though not as bad as in Spain, Italy, Russia and many other countries.
    Someone saw this happen, would hope in this day and age there would be an eyewitness account if not video. There’s got to be at least half a dozen cameras rolling the entire match; the Scottish or English FA should at least try to discover who threw it.

  • Football Fan // March 28, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    The implication that the banana came from a Brazilian is laughable. Why would a team’s own fan commit such a horrible insult? The banana is a typical European insult for people of colour, not a Brazilian one.

  • elcynico // March 28, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Right Football Fan, I’m with you, why would a Brazilian do this? And believe me there’s plenty of racism still in Scotland and the entire UK.

  • Linda // March 28, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    AlMac – if you watch the replays you’ll see that Hutton did kick Neymar directly on the knee
    (it’s at 2:38 if you want to see Hutton blantly going for his knee and not the ball ) – actually, credit to him for not staying down – there are so many who would’ve.
    Regardless it is down to his youth and naivety that he would complain about this beyond closed doors. Imagine thinking that anyone would do something about this or admit any wrong-doing on the part of their fellow countrymen! I would be surprised if anyone takes this seriously just because he had the audacity to go public with his protest. In fact I bet this instant dismissal of his grievances will in the future cause others to hesitate even more when wanting to report racial abuse.

  • UdN // March 30, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    You may as well ask “Why would scottish fans throw bananas?”. To talk about how it happens in Europe is ignorant because those who KNOW about the scottish fans of the national team, know that they’ve never been about displaying racism. That’s what seperates them from many other countries’ fans.

  • AlMac // March 31, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    After the Police investigation confirmed that it came from the Brazilian end (just as I said) and it was thrown by a German, I think most of those commenting here are looking just a little stupid.

    Oh and having reviewed the video footage of Neymar being ‘caught on the knee’ I would like to reiterate that he was feigning serious injury. There was the merest contact between both players and certainly not a strong kick – if you had been at the game you would of course know that it was so embarassing Howard Webb literally had to haul him up off the pitch as he was refusing to get up and then declined to allow any treatment.

    I continue to be dismayed at the comments that were posted about the Tartan Army. I am not stupid enough to believe there is no racism in Europe far from it, but I believe that Scotland has evolved significantly in its attitudes over the last 20 years. I will also defend the Tartan Army against this sort of tripe going forward and I won’t be scored off by people who claim it is in the interest of social integration to publicise blatantly false and misrepresentative statements from idiot footballers (brazilian or not).

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