Neymar refuses to apologise to SFA over racism claim

Neymar has refused to apologise to the Scottish Football Association for complaining of racist abuse during Brazil's match against Scotland.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan wrote to the Brazilian federation (CBF) to request an apology for the Scotland fans, which he said would be welcomed either from Neymar or from the federation.

However Neymar has claimed he did not single out Scottish fans as a guilty party after the match, which was played at the Emirates Stadium in London, and consequently stated he will not be retracting his remarks.

A banana was thrown on to the pitch and landed near Neymar, who scored both goals including a late penalty as his team won 2-0, and Metropolitan Police have concluded it was hurled by a German student sitting in the area of the stadium reserved for Brazilian supporters.

The confirmation that no Scotland supporters were involved led the SFA to defend the Tartan Army fans' group, who Regan claims were "genuinely upset and annoyed" by the claims of racism.

However Neymar, who also felt he was subjected to racist jeering, posted a statement on his official website today, explaining his position.

He wrote: "I was surprised on Thursday by a letter from the Scottish FA, in which they demand an apology from me or from the Brazilian Football Confederation regarding the incident involving a banana thrown toward the field during the Brazil v Scotland friendly on Sunday, March 27.

"Stewart Regan says that the 'accusations' made after the match cast doubt on the reputation of 'good-humoured and respectful' Scottish fans."

Neymar adds: "At no time, even at the end of the game, still enveloped by the thrill of scoring the two goals that won the game, did I accuse any person or any group of supporters, of whatever nationality, of having committed such an act.

"All the interviews I gave at the end of the match, in Portuguese, are available for consultation with media companies that covered the friendly.

"Yes, I did lament the fact, condemn any and all prejudice, but I repeat, at no time did I accuse anybody. So I do not understand why I have to retract what I said.

"The requirement from the Scottish, after all that happened, seems somewhat ironic, since, if there has been prejudice, it is us, the players, who should 'require' a formal apology."

Neymar stressed he had declared the matter closed in his post-match interviews.

He added: "I spent a great time with my family in the UK and even stayed a day longer than planned.

"I only have praise for the way I was treated at every place we visited. The hospitality my family was offered was an honour for us. They were unforgettable days.

"That said, for my part, I consider the matter closed."

Speaking after the game, Neymar had said the banana incident was "sad" and claimed he was the subject of vocal abuse from spectators, which he felt was racist.

He told Brazilian television channel Sportv on Sunday: "The entire stadium was jeering. This atmosphere of racism is totally sad.

"We leave our country to play here and something like this happens.

"It's sad. I'd rather not even talk about it, to keep the subject from escalating."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee