SANTIAGO: Neymar, after all, will play no further part in the Copa America after Brazil decided not to appeal against his four-match ban.

Barcelona’s 23-year-old was shown a red card after the final whistle of Brazil’s 1-0 defeat to Colombia last week.

Brazil coach Dunga had said that the Brazilian football confederation would appeal the card but the CBF later backed down.

A statement said: “The technical commission and the player hopes that CONMEBOL[the South American Football Confederation] adopt the same rigour it used in punishing Neymar in all its competitions.”

They player said: “I know my presence in the group is important but other players now more than ever have to be focused on the upcoming games.

“I will be cheering for the team’s success but to stay in training would kill me inside. It would be joyless. It’s very hard to train without having anything to aim for and I could easily pick up an injury.

“Staying with the squad could lead to concentration issues and would distract from the main objective of winning the competition.”

Neymar said he was sorry for his behaviour.


“I never dodged the responsibility of being a leader of the group,” he added. “As a captain I always go in search of victories and make decisions – whether erroneous or right – and this is a moment of decision-making.

“I apologise to my colleagues for putting people in this situation, but I’m sure it will be a learning curve in my career.”

The forward, who won the Spanish league and cup as well as Champions League this past season was banned for four matches after receiving a yellow card, followed by a straight red and then verbally abusing the referee after last Wednesday’s game with Colombia.

According to the referee Enrique Osses’s report, in the tunnel Neymar shouted at him: “You want to make yourself famous at my expense, you son of a bitch.”

Neymar was in the ground on Sunday to see Brazil beat Venezuela 2-1, a result that took them to the top of Group C and into a quarter-final tie with Paraguay on Saturday.