Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas has leapt to the defence of defender Alvaro Gonzalez following Neymar’s racism claim against the centre-back.
Neymar alleged that Gonzalez called him a ‘monkey motherf*****’ in a heated derby that saw five players sent off while 12 others were given yellow cards after a mass brawl broke out during PSG’s defeat to Marseille at the Parc des Princes.
The £198m PSG star was infuriated with the comments he alleges the Spaniard made, which resulted in the Brazilian throwing a punch at his rival and subsequently being sent off following intervention from VAR in the Ligue 1 champions’ 1-0 loss.
Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas has leapt to the defence of defender Alvaro Gonzalez
Neymar alleged that Gonzalez called him a ‘monkey motherf*****’ when PSG faced Marseille
Neymar was one of five players sent off after a mass brawl broke out at the Parc des Princes
But former Tottenham boss Villas-Boas claims his side have ‘no doubts’ about Gonzalez and said the French side will cooperate fully to ascertain the truth.
‘We are sure that Alvaro is not racist. I know him well, I know what he is, what he represents,’ Villas Boas said.
‘We have no doubts about what he said. We will help find the truth. Neymar knows the seriousness of his accusations.’
The comments come after Neymar admitted he ‘acted like a fool’ in his part of a mass brawl in the Ligue 1 clash but called out his opponent for the abuse he claims he suffered in an impassioned statement.
The Brazilian admitted he ‘acted like a fool’ after being sent off for punching the Spaniard
‘Yesterday I revolted. I was punished with red because I wanted to hit someone who offended me. I thought I could not leave without doing something because I realised that those in charge would not do anything, did not notice or ignored the fact’, Neymar said on his Instagram page.
‘During the game I wanted to answer, as always, playing football. The facts show that I did not succeed, I revolted.
‘In our sport, aggressions, insults, swearing are part of the game, of the dispute. You can’t be affectionate. I understand this guy partly. All is a part of the game but racism and intolerance are unacceptable.
‘I am black, son of black, grandson and great grandson of black also. I am proud and I do not see myself as different from anyone. Yesterday I wanted those in charge of the game (referees, assistants) to position themselves impartially and understand that there is no longer such a place for a prejudiced attitude.
But Villas-Boas claims Gonzalez did nothing wrong and that the club will cooperate
‘Reflecting and seeing all the manifestation that happened. I am saddened by the feeling of hatred that we can provoke when in the heat of the moment we snap.
‘Should I have ignored it? I don’t know yet… Today, with a cool head, I say yes, But in due course my companions and I asked the referees for help and we were ignored. That’s the point!
‘We who are involved in entertainment need to reflect. An action led to a reaction and got to where it did. I accept my punishment because I should have followed the path of clean football.
‘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. I still have the privilege of keeping my head up today. But we all need to reflect that not all black and white people are in the same condition.
The comments come after Neymar told the Spaniard: ‘You know what you said’ in a statement
‘The damage from the confrontation can be disastrous to both sides. Whether you are black or white. I don’t want to and we shouldn’t mix subjects. Skin colour we don’t choose. Before God we are all equal.
‘Now… Yesterday I lost in the game and I lost wisdom… Being in the centre of this situation or ignoring a racist act will not help, I know,’ he said.
‘But pacifying this ‘anti-racism’ movement is our obligation so that the less privileged will naturally receive their defence.
‘We will meet again and it will be my way, playing football…. Stay in peace! Stay in peace!
‘You know what you said… I know what I did. More love to the world. #noracism #saynotoracism’
Television footage and a pitchside microphone appear to have caught Neymar pointing at the centre back in question and shouting: ‘Racism, no?’
‘VAR catching my “aggression” is easy… now I want to see the image of the racist calling me a monkey motherf*****,’ he tweeted after the game.
Before uncovering what Gonzalez had allegedly called him on the field, Neymar also tweeted: ‘My only regret is not hitting that a****** in the face.’
The governing body of professional football in France, the LFP, will now review the incident before handing out its suspension for the Brazilian, who could be banned for as many as seven matches if guilty, according to French sports outlet RMC Sport.
They are also investigating the claims made about Gonzalez, and if he is found guilty of racism he could face up to a ten-game ban.
Neymar has called for an end to racist abuse after accusing Alvaro Gonzalez of the offence