‘Racism is a crime’: Brazilian government backs Neymar in Marseille racism row

The racism row involving PSG star Neymar and Marseille’s Alvaro Gonzalez continues to rumble on, with the Brazilian government weighing backing the striker’s claims he was racially abused during PSG’s loss to Marseille on Sunday.

Agence France-Presse has reported that Neymar received official government support from his home nation on Tuesday following his red card against Marseille, after which he claimed his response was a reaction to Gonzalez racially abusing him during the clash.

The incident sparked a brawl that saw five players, including Neymar, dismissed. The Brazilian later claimed Gonzalez called him a “monkey son of a b*tch,” an accusation Gonzalez immediately denied.

While Gonzalez received support from his club, including boss Andre Villas-Boas, Neymar has now been backed by the Brazilian government, who issued an official statement supporting their star.

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“In the face of yet another case of racism that has come to the surface in sport, the ministry of women, the family and human rights publicly voices its solidarity with the player Neymar Jr.,” the ministry’s statement read.

“Racism is a crime.”

The Brazilian government’s comments come hot on the heels of Marseille boss Villas-Boas’ statement of support for Gonzalez, saying, “We are alongside our player, in the search for the truth.

“We are sure that Alvaro is not racist. Olympique de Marseille represents multiculturality.”

Neymar faces a ban of up to seven games for his part in the incident, which is under review by the governing body of French football, the LFP.

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