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Neymar to serve three-game Champions League suspension as appeal rejected

15:43 BST 19/06/2019
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UEFA have upheld the ban handed to the Brazilian following his reaction to the defeat to Manchester United at Parc des Princes

Neymar's appeal against his three-match European ban has been rejected by UEFA.

The Brazil forward was sanctioned for insulting match officials following Paris Saint-Germain's dramatic Champions League exit at the hands of Manchester United in March.

United progressed on the away goals rule after a VAR review saw Presnel Kimpembe penalised for handball in stoppage time at the Parc des Princes, with Marcus Rashford dispatching the resulting penalty.

A statement from UEFA confirming the news read: "The appeal lodged by Paris Saint-Germain is rejected. Consequently, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body’s decision of 25 April is confirmed.

"The CEDB had decided to suspend the Paris Saint-Germain player Neymar Junior for three (3) UEFA competition matches for which he would be otherwise eligible, for insulting match officials."

The punishment means Neymar will miss the first three group matches of the 2019-20 Champions League.

Whether those are games he takes in as a PSG player is a moot point, given the 27-year-old has been linked with what would be a sensational return to Barcelona.

As reported by Goal, Barca have laid out exactly what the former Santos star needs to do to help seal a return to Camp Nou, including lowering his wage demands and settling various legal wrangles between both parties.

There is, however, also interest from Real Madrid, with president Florentino Perez having been a long-time admirer of the Brazilian having previously tried to sign him for Los Blancos.

Spanish daily newspaper Mundo Deportivo went as far as saying that Neymar has already messaged the club's president Nasser Al-Khelaifi to inform him that he wants to leave the Ligue 1 champions.

The PSG chief's comments warning his star names that he will not accept "celebrity behaviour" could be construed as being directed at Neymar, while he also insisted that he didn't force the player to sign for the Parisians in the first place.

The 27-year-old had been hoping to feature for Brazil at Copa America although he is missing from the tournament in his homeland after suffering ankle ligament damage.

Without him, Tite's side had got off to a positive start, beating Bolivia 3-0 in their opening game courtesy of two goals from Philippe Coutinho and one from Gremio forward Everton.

Boos and whistles would greet the full-time whistle in their second match in the group phase, however, as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Venezuela.

Their final group match is against Peru on June 22.