Paris Saint-Germian star Neymar faces being landed in hot water by the French FA (FFF) after apparently punching a fan following last Saturday’s Coupe de France final defeat by Rennes.
The Brazilian had netted a brilliant chip to put PSG 2-0 into the lead, but thereafter they collapsed, with a Presnel Kimpembe own goal the trigger for the Breton side to come back and draw 2-2.
Tempers flared on the pitch, with Kylian Mbappe sent off before a penalty shootout that was won 6-5 by the underdogs. Neymar scored his kick but Christopher Nkunku saw his go high in sudden death after the first 11 had been converted.
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As he climbed the steps of the Stade de France to receive his runners-up medal, Neymar was confronted by a supporter and after a brief exchange of words seems to punch him on the chin.
It was an incident that was caught on social media, with certain videos making it clear that the supporter was insulting the PSG players as they went to claim their medals.
RMC reported a statement made by PSG claiming that the unknown man was “a friend of a Rennes player who insulted all the” PSG stars in order to “make a buzz”.
Neymar admitted his wrong doing on Instagram but added: “No-one could have stay indifferent.”
Head coach Thomas Tuchel’s reaction was one of sympathy mixed with frustration.
Speaking on Monday, the German said: “It's not possible to do that, it's just not possible.
“It's not easy to climb the stairs after a defeat. It's very difficult for me, for everyone. We must accept the result. If we lose, we must show respect. You can’t come into conflict with a spectator.”
Ninguém gosta de perder, eu então ... quem me conhece sabe o quanto sou competitivo e o quanto a derrota me abala. Mas perder faz parte da vida de um atleta, nos faz crescer, nos faz pensar, nos faz MELHORAR. Feliz de poder voltar a jogar, de voltar a fazer gol e me sentir bem dentro de campo, mas o sentimento maior hoje é de tristeza. 🙏🏽
Neymar will have his case heard by the FFF’s Disciplinary Commission on Wednesday and will learn how heavy a suspension he faces.
The FFF are not known to be lenient and it has been suggested the he could face up to a five-match ban for his action, but there is no maximum penalty, so theoretically it could be even longer.
Any suspension will not come into force immediately, meaning that he will be able to feature at the weekend against Nice, but it is likely that is his final game of the season.
Mbappe, having seen red, was automatically banned for Tuesday’s trip to Stade de la Mosson to face Montpellier, and will also be suspended for the Nice fixture at Parc des Princes.
He will also go in front of the FFF’s Disciplinary Commission to plead his case, with the panel unlikely to look upon him favourably after he was sent off earlier this season for lashing out a Nimes’ Teji Savanier. Initially banned for three matches, it was reduced to two on appeal.
PSG could, theoretically, play out the season without their two ace forwards.