Brazil to appeal Neymar suspension

Santiago, June 21 (IANS) Brazil will appeal their star striker Neymar’s four-game suspension that has ruled him out of the rest of the ongoing Copa America.

Brazil coach Dunga said on Saturday his confederation’s “legal department will file a counterpoint to Neymar’s sanction.”

Dunga said in a news conference here that Neymar was of huge importance in football, and therefore the sanctions against him were also huge. Dunga said Brazil were seeking only “what’s fair.”

A disciplinary panel of South American football’s governing body, Conmebol, on Friday fined Neymar $10,000 and banned him for four matches for misconduct after being sent off after Brazil’s 0-1 loss to Colombia on Wednesday.

The Copa America board originally suspended the star for two games early on Thursday, then Conmebol reduced the ban to a single game before Friday’s final ruling.

Neymar was given the strong punishment after the referee’s report said Neymar waited in the tunnel to the team’s dressing room for match official Enrique Osses and verbally abused him.

Neymar was already set to miss Brazil’s final Group C match after receiving a yellow card earlier in the game for a handball.

Brazil coach Dunga has defended the behaviour of his attacking spearhead.

“Neymar was hit 20 times during the game. After, he lost control and touched the ball with his hand, and he got a yellow card. Is this fair?” Dunga asked on Saturday. “Just like (Alexis) Sanchez, (Lionel) Messi and (Angel) Di Maria, these players have to be protected from so many fouls,” he was quoted as saying by espnfc.com on Saturday.

Neymar also blamed Osses for his yellow card against Colombia.

“In my view, the rules are always used against me,” Neymar told Brazilian media after the match.

“I was off balance, the ball hit my hand but it was not intentional. They put a weak referee in there to whistle up for all that. The team didn’t play well.”

Brazil will play Venezuela in their final group stage game here on Sunday.

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