'Neymar has never made racist insults' - Marquinhos defends PSG team-mate after accusations

Neymar PSG Marseille Ligue 1 13092020
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While admitting he has not seen the alleged incident involving Marseille's Hiroko Sakai, the centre-back believes in his colleague's innocence

Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos has leapt to the defence of club and Brazil team-mate Neymar following allegations that the forward aimed racist insults at a Marseille player during September's now-infamous clash between the two Ligue 1 sides. 

Neymar was one of five players to receive a red card during Marseille's 1-0 victory, but subsequently accused Alvaro Gonzalez of racially abusing him before he struck the Spanish defender on the head, the offence that led to his expulsion. 

The LFP continues to investigates the claims against Gonzalez, who denies the charges levelled against him by the ex-Barcelona star. 

In turn, a Marseille source this week claimed to AFP that the club possessed a video of Neymar allegedly insulting their Japanese full-back Hiroko Sakai, although a l'OM spokesperson refused to confirm the accusations when quizzed by the agency. 

"We have no comment. We entrust all our expertise and analysis to the examiners of the league," the individual stated.

Marquinhos, however, insists that his team-mate does not use offensive language and believes in his innocence. 

"I know Neymar, he is a person that never uses racist insults," the centre-back explained to Le Parisien when asked about the accusations. 

"It is hard to say, because I was not on the pitch or close by and I have not seen the footage. 

"But for anyone who knows Neymar, he never jokes around with words like that, and I believe he didn't do it." 

Neymar's future at Parc des Princes has come under scrutiny on multiple occasions since moving to the club in a world-record transfer deal in 2017, with a return to Barcelona or possibly even the Catalans' arch-rivals Real Madrid reported as the most likely destinations for the Brazil star. 

Marquinhos hopes that his compatriot will stay at PSG, though, and is also keen to see Kylian Mbappe commit his long-term future to the Ligue 1 champions. 

"I am selfish when it comes to this matter. I want them to stay forever," he admitted. 

"I have already renewed and I hope my team-mates also stay. But each one has his own goals and his own life. 

"But of course I want Neymar and Mbappe to stay on."

PSG return to action on Sunday, when they visit Reims in their latest Ligue 1 outing.

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