Copa America: Neymar banned for one match, penalty could be extended

  • AFP, Santiago
  • Updated: Jun 19, 2015 19:22 IST

Brazilian star Neymar has been provisionally suspended for one match and could face a harsher final punishment, officials said on Thursday after the striker received a red card during a fracas in Brazil's Copa America loss to Colombia.

South American federation CONMEBOL's disciplinary committee "provisionally suspended Neymar for one game after his behavior in the aftermath of Brazil's 1-0 defeat to Colombia, and will meet on Friday to decide the final punishment," said a statement on the Copa America website.

Colombia upset the five-time world champions in a combative game on Wednesday that ended in a tumultuous melee, as Neymar appeared to aim a headbutt at Colombian goalscorer Jeison Murillo.

Colombian striker Carlos Bacca, who also received a red card for pushing Neymar from behind at the end of the match, also received a provisional one-match ban.

Neymar had previously received a second yellow card for a handball, meaning at least a one-game suspension was inevitable. The Barcelona star had received a first yellow card during Brazil's opening win against Peru.

The Copa America website initially reported a two-game suspension, but later clarified that the 23-year-old striker was suspended for one game in a preliminary decision, to be reviewed when the disciplinary committee meets on Friday. A two-match suspension would rule him out of Brazil's final group game against Venezuela Sunday and any quarter-final clash.

There was already bad blood between Neymar and the Colombian team heading into the match. He suffered a fractured vertebra when Colombia's Juan Camilo Zuniga collided with him in their World Cup quarter-final clash last July, an injury that sidelined him for the rest of the tournament.

Wednesday's match left Group C of the South American championship up for grabs, with three teams tied at three points each: Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela.

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