'I acted like a fool'

Sports | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 16 Sep 2020

Neymar said he "acted like a fool" following his red card against Marseille but called on football officials to do more to combat discrimination after accusing Spanish defender Alvaro Gonzalez of racism.

The Brazil superstar was one of five players sent off after a mass brawl at the end of PSG's 1-0 loss in Ligue 1 on Sunday, and later claimed Gonzalez had called him a "monkey" in a series of furious tweets.

PSG have stood by the world's most expensive player, but Neymar said he would accept his punishment for slapping Gonzalez on the back of the head.

"I revolted. I was punished with red because I wanted to hit someone who offended me," Neymar said in a lengthy Instagram post.

"I thought I could not leave without doing something because I realized that those in charge would not do anything, did not notice or ignored the fact.

"In our sport, aggressions, insults, swearing are part of the game. You can't be affectionate. I understand this guy partly, all is part of the game, but racism and intolerance are unacceptable.

"Should I have ignored it? I don't know yet... Today, with a cool head, I say yes ...

"I accept my punishment because I should have followed the path of clean football. I hope, on the other hand, that the offender will also be punished.

"Racism exists. It exists, but we have to stop it. No more. Enough!"

"The guy was a fool. I also acted like a fool for letting me get involved in that," he added.

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