The Brazilian government has extended it support to its national football player Neymar Jr after the PSG star accused Olympique de Marseille’s Alvaro Gonzalez of racially abusing him during their Ligue 1 match in the weekend. Neymar was sent off after receiving a red card for his retaliation.
In a statement, Brazil’s ministry of women, family and human rights has said it backed the footballer in the matter.
“In the face of yet another case of racism that has come to the surface in sport, the ministry of women, the family and human rights publicly voices its solidarity with the player Neymar Jr. Racism is a crime,” the statement read.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had also retweeted Neymar’s tweets on the incident.
Neymar is expected to be punished by the French league’s disciplinary body for hitting Gonzalez in the back of the head. The PSG striker had told match officials that the Spaniard used a racist slur against him.
The match, which Marseille won 1-0, ended in chaos after 12 yellow cards and five reds were given to the players of the rival teams for exchanging punches and kicks during the course of the game.
Neymar, who had initially said that his only regret was not hitting Gonzalez in the face, has now said that he regrets his actions on the field. But he asked officials to take note of racism in football and do more to stamp it out of the sport.
Gonzalez, meanwhile, has denied the accusation, and responded to Neymar’s original tweet that the PSG star has to “learn how to lose and accept it”.
Both players stand to face punishment over the incident if the French league officials find the accusations to be true.