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Neymar blames racial abuse by fans
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 28 - 03 - 2011

LONDON: Brazil striker Neymar claimed he was racially abused by fans during Sunday's international friendly against Scotland in London.
Neymar scored both goals in Brazil's 2-0 win but told Brazilian television channel Sportv that he had been abused while preparing to take a 77th-minute penalty he had won. The channel reported that a banana was thrown at him toward the end of the second half from a section of the Emirates Stadium crowd mostly populated by Brazil fans.
“They were jeering me a lot, even when I was about to kick the penalty,” Neymar told Sportv. “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.”
Scotland supporters had jeered the Santos striker following a first-half clash with midfielder Scott Brown. Neymar's on-field treatment after the apparently innocuous incident held up play and he was then slow in making his way to the sidelines as the referee tried to restart play.
Brazil coach Mano Menezes and Scotland's Craig Levein both said they did not see the incident.
“I did not see that,” Menezes said. “If it happened, it is lamentable, but we have not had confirmation of that event.”
Sportv reported that Brazil midfielder Lucas Leiva picked up the banana from the pitch.
The throwing of bananas at black players marred football throughout the 1970s and ‘80s. Along with racist chanting, it has mostly been eradicated at high-profile matches but still happens occasionally. Former Brazil fullback Roberto Carlos was recently taunted with a banana by a Zenit St. Petersburg fan.
Messi shines
Lionel Messi dazzled, and Argentina dominated, but the United States still eked out a 1-1 draw Saturday in a friendly international football match.
Teenager Juan Agudelo scored in the 59th minute to give the hosts the surprising draw.
Esteban Cambiasso put Argentina ahead in the 42nd minute after Messi made a scintillating run and passed through the legs of US captain Carlos Bocanegra.
Other results: Jamaico 0, Venezula 2; Panama 2, Bolivia 0; Kuwait 1, Jordan 1; Portugal 1, Chile 1; United States 1, Argentina 1; Colombia 2, Ecuador 0; North Korea 0, Iraq 2 ; Mexico 3, Paraguay 1.


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