Neymar has accused referees of ignoring his reports of racist abuse in an impassioned defence following his sending off in Paris Saint-Germain’s 1-0 defeat by Marseille on Sunday.
The Brazilian was one of five players sent off in a last-minute brawl at the Parc des Princes after striking Alvaro Gonzalez in the back of the head, having had several incidents with the Spanish defender previously in the game.
Neymar was heard on pitchside microphones informing the fourth official he had heard a racist comment while walking off the pitch and later accused Gonzalez of racism on Twitter, urging the authorities to use VAR to clarify matters.
In a statement released on Monday, Neymar claimed he hit out at Gonzalez after realising match officials “would not do anything”.
“I am black, the son of a black man, the grandson and great-grandson of black men,” he said in an Instagram post. “I’m proud and do not see myself as different from anyone else.
“Yesterday, I wanted those in charge of the game (referees and assistants) to be impartial and understand there is no place for such prejudice.”
The statement added:
“Should I have ignored it? I don’t know yet… With a cool head today, I say yes, but my team-mates and I asked the referees for help and we were ignored. That’s the point!”