Paris, France, Sep 14 – Paris Saint-Germain said Monday the club “strongly supports” Neymar after the Brazil forward insisted he was the victim of racist abuse following his red card in Sunday’s defeat to Marseille.
Neymar will discover his punishment on Wednesday for being one of five players sent off following a brawl at the end of the game.
“Paris Saint-Germain strongly supports Neymar Jr. who reported being subjected to racist abuse by an opposing player,” the French champions said in a statement.
“The club restates that there is no place for racism in society, in football or in our lives and calls on everyone to speak out against all forms of racism throughout the world.”
The world’s most expensive footballer was shown the red card in stoppage time of the 1-0 loss at the Parc des Princes alongside teammates Layvin Kurzawa and Leandro Paredes, as well as Marseille’s Dario Benedetto and Jordan Amavi.
Neymar insisted Alvaro Gonzalez called him a “monkey” in a series of furious tweets late on Sunday after he was dismissed for slapping the Marseille defender on the back of the head.
“Look at the racism. That’s why I hit him,” Neymar, who was returning from coronavirus quarantine, said as he left the pitch. Gonzalez later denied making a racist comment.
“The only regret I have is not hitting this idiot in the face,” Neymar then posted after the game, before replying to a Gonzalez tweet to call him a “racist”.
Marseille issued a statement of their own defending the 30-year-old Spanish centre-back.
“Alvaro Gonzalez is not racist. He has shown us that by his daily behaviour since joining the club, as his team-mates have already testified,” the statement read.
The French league’s disciplinary commission, which will decide the punishments, could investigate Neymar’s accusations against Gonzalez, who Marseille claim was spat on by Angel Di Maria.
Marseille pledged to “fully cooperate” with any investigation and said the club would remain at the disposal of the commission.
Any racist behaviour carries a maximum suspension of 10 matches.
Spitting directed at another player can lead to a ban of up to six matches.
Kurzawa meanwhile could be suspended for up to seven matches for violent conduct after aiming a punch at opposition full-back Amavi.
PSG, who have lost their opening two games of the season for the first time since 1984/85, host Metz on Wednesday in what was originally scheduled to be their season opener.