PSG’s Neymar suspended 2 matches for role in brawl

Paris, Sep 16 (efe-epa).- French soccer’s governing body, the LFP, handed down a two-match ban Wednesday against Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar for striking Olympique Marseille defender Alvaro Gonzalez during a brawl at the end of last weekend’s Ligue 1 match.

At the same time, the LFP disciplinary committee launched an investigation into the Brazilian star’s claim that the Marseille player insulted him using racist language.

Gonzalez, a Spaniard, has denied the accusation.

Neymar missed PSG’s match Wednesday against Metz and will likewise be excluded from the following game, but could see the suspension extended for a third match if he engages in misconduct on his return.

The Brazilian striker was one of five players sent off last Sunday during the brawl in stoppage time of Le Classique at the Parc des Princes in Paris, which Marseille won 1-0 thanks to a first half goal from Florian Thauvin.

Neymar was shown a straight red card after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) spotted him hitting the Spanish defender in the back of the head.

Television microphones picked up Neymar telling the fourth official as he left the pitch that he had been racially abused.

Neymar later repeated the claim on Twitter, posting that his “only regret” was not having punched Gonzalez in the face and then writing: “VAR catching my “aggression” is easy … now I want to see the image of the racist calling me “MONO HIJO DE PUTA” (monkey son of a bitch) … that I want to see!”

Responding on Twitter, Gonzalez posted an image of himself alongside several non-white teammates with the caption: “Racism has no place in football.”

The defender’s uncle told Spanish television this week that Gonzalez actually used the word “bobo” (fool) in his exchange with Neymar.

Gonzalez has received death threats over the incident, according to Marseille coach Andre Villas-Boas.

“I think Alvaro is OK but the death threats he has received are real,” the coach said. “We have reported it to the police and now it depends on them. These are the consequences of certain actions and accusations.”

The four other players expelled last Sunday were also disciplined.

PSG’s Leandro Paredes was suspended for three matches, while teammate Layvin Kurzawa received a six-match ban for kicking Marseille’s Jordan Amavi, who got a three-game suspension for throwing a punch.

Dario Benedetto of Marseille will miss one match.

The LFP said Wednesday that it is looking into Gonzalez’s accusation that PSG midfielder Angel Di Maria spat on him during Marseille’s first win since 2011 against their historic rivals. EFE rcf/dr

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