Neymar Punishment – Protecting Brazil’s Glamour Boy

Neymar Punishment – Protecting Brazil’s Glamour Boy

The punishment levied against Neymar seemed harsh at first, and it was, therefore, no surprise that Brazil planned to appeal Neymar’s four game ban which had been imposed as a result of his actions during an altercation with several Colombian players. Today, however, Brazil’s football federation, the CBF, announced that they were going to withdraw their appeal against Neymar’s match ban, because Neymar’s punishment was not solely the result of what the audience could see on the field of play. The actions which could be seen were Neymar kicking the ball at Colombia’s player Pablo Armero, and attempting to headbutt Jeison Murillo. The match report revealed that, in addition, Neymar waited for the Chilean referee Enrique Osses in the player tunnel after the game and shouted at the referee: “You want to make yourself famous at my expense, you son of a b**ch.” Alberto Lozada, a member of the CONMEBOL Disciplinary Committee, later told the Spanish paper MARCA that “based on what the report says, it was premeditated, waiting for the referee in the tunnel and insulting him. His punishment could have been harsher. He got off lightly.” During Brazil’s last group game match against Venezuela, the cameras often focused in on Neymar, who was watching the game from the VIP-stands. At this point there was still hope that Neymar’s ban could perhaps be reduced to two games. Neymar has since left the squad and issued a public apology for his actions in the match against Colombia. With the next Copa América scheduled to be hosted by Brazil in 2019, Neymar was expected to be a significant factor in the promotion of that tournament. Perhaps this is the real reason why CONMEBOL eased off and only issued Neymar a four game match ban. In fact, CONMEBOL has, in the past, been accused of shielding certain players and clubs in order to protect the marketing values of their competitions. In May, for example, FIFA severely criticised CONMEBOL for their soft handling of an incident that took place in the Superclásico between River Plate and Boca Juniors in round of 16 of the Copa Libertadores tournament in which some Boca fans pepper sprayed visiting River Plate’s player in the tunnel that led up the field. Boca Juniors was subsequently disqualified from the Copa Libertadores, was given a $200,000 monetary fine, and was told they'd have to play their next four Copa Libertadores home games behind closed doors. FIFA, on the other hand, felt that this punishment was not severe enough and has since threatened CONMEBOL that it could lose half a qualification spot for the next World Cup that will take place in Russia in 2018. By beating Venezuela in the last group game Brazil has ensured that Neymar will miss only two games when the tournament takes place in Brazil in 2019 and has guaranteed that not only Brazil but also CONMEBOL can utilize Neymar’s massive star power to promote the 2019 edition of the tournament. It remains to be seen how FIFA will respond to this latest scandal, perhaps CONMEBOL will be lucky as FIFA might be to busy with their own housecleaning to actually respond to what clearly appears a light punishment. But it would not be a big surprise if FIFA would use this situation to actually strip CONMEBOL of half a World Cup qualification spot. By Manuel Veth -

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The punishment levied against Neymar seemed harsh at first, and it was, therefore, no surprise that Brazil planned to appeal Neymar’s four game ban which had been imposed as a result of his actions during an altercation with several Colombian players.

Today, however, Brazil’s football federation, the CBF, announced that they were going to withdraw their appeal against Neymar’s match ban, because Neymar’s punishment was not solely the result of what the audience could see on the field of play. The actions which could be seen were Neymar kicking the ball at Colombia’s player Pablo Armero, and attempting to headbutt Jeison Murillo.

The match report revealed that, in addition, Neymar waited for the Chilean referee Enrique Osses in the player tunnel after the game and shouted at the referee: “You want to make yourself famous at my expense, you son of a b**ch.” Alberto Lozada, a member of the CONMEBOL Disciplinary Committee, later told the Spanish paper MARCA that “based on what the report says, it was premeditated, waiting for the referee in the tunnel and insulting him. His punishment could have been harsher. He got off lightly.”

During Brazil’s last group game match against Venezuela, the cameras often focused in on Neymar, who was watching the game from the VIP-stands. At this point there was still hope that Neymar’s ban could perhaps be reduced to two games. Neymar has since left the squad and issued a public apology for his actions in the match against Colombia.

With the next Copa América scheduled to be hosted by Brazil in 2019, Neymar was expected to be a significant factor in the promotion of that tournament. Perhaps this is the real reason why CONMEBOL eased off and only issued Neymar a four game match ban. In fact, CONMEBOL has, in the past, been accused of shielding certain players and clubs in order to protect the marketing values of their competitions.

In May, for example, FIFA severely criticised CONMEBOL for their soft handling of an incident that took place in the Superclásico between River Plate and Boca Juniors in round of 16 of the Copa Libertadores tournament in which some Boca fans pepper sprayed visiting River Plate’s player in the tunnel that led up the field.

Boca Juniors was subsequently disqualified from the Copa Libertadores, was given a $200,000 monetary fine, and was told they’d have to play their next four Copa Libertadores home games behind closed doors. FIFA, on the other hand, felt that this punishment was not severe enough and has since threatened CONMEBOL that it could lose half a qualification spot for the next World Cup that will take place in Russia in 2018.

By beating Venezuela in the last group game Brazil has ensured that Neymar will miss only two games when the tournament takes place in Brazil in 2019 and has guaranteed that not only Brazil but also CONMEBOL can utilize Neymar’s massive star power to promote the 2019 edition of the tournament.

It remains to be seen how FIFA will respond to this latest scandal, perhaps CONMEBOL will be lucky as FIFA might be to busy with their own housecleaning to actually respond to what clearly appears a light punishment. But it would not be a big surprise if FIFA would use this situation to actually strip CONMEBOL of half a World Cup qualification spot.

By Manuel Veth –

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