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SPORTS NEWS; NEYMAR BANNED FOR THREE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MATCHES OVER REF RANT

Neymar JrNeymar was suspended for three Champions League matches by UEFA on Friday for insulting match officials following Paris Saint-Germain’s shock exit from this season’s tournament to Manchester United.

 

The Brazil star missed the 3-1 Champions League second leg last 16 defeat on March 6 through injury but told match officials “to go fuck yourselves” on social media after watching on from the sidelines at the Parc des Princes.

 

Neymar was found guilty of “insulting/molesting acts against a match official”, European football’s governing body announced in a statement.

 

The 27-year-old, who will now miss half of PSG’s group stage matches in the Champions League next season, was angry with the award of a decisive injury-time penalty which Marcus Rashford scored to send United through.

 

“It’s a disgrace. They get four guys who don’t understand football to watch a slow-motion replay in front of the TV,” Neymar wrote in Portuguese on Instagram after the game.

 

Neymar was reportedly so enraged by the decision to give the penalty that he had to be restrained by PSG staff to stop him entering the referee’s dressing room.

 

In June last year, Neymar’s teammate Gianluigi Buffon was handed a three-match suspension after a tirade against referee Michael Oliver following his former club Juventus’ similarly dramatic quarter-final defeat by Real Madrid.

 

Former PSG defender Serge Aurier was the first player to be banned by UEFA for comments made on social media in 2015.

 

Neymar’s ban comes on the eve of his return to PSG’s starting line-up after injury for Saturday’s French Cup final against Rennes.

 

By Dominic C. Odoh

 

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