PARIS – Paris Saint-Germain’s star forward Neymar Jr. has accused Olympique Marseile’s Spanish defender Alvaro Gonzalez of using a racial slur during an incident at the end of the Ligue 1 match between the two sides on Sunday night.
Five players were sent off during the brawl in stoppage time of Le Classique at the Parc des Princes in Paris, which Marseille won 1-0 thanks to a first half goal from Florian Thauvin.
Neymar was shown a straight red card after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) spotted the Brazilian hitting the Spanish defender in the back of the head.
Neymar was heard by television cameras telling the fourth official as he left the pitch that he had been racially abused.
After the game, Neymar repeated the claims on his Twitter account, first posting that his “only regret” was not having punched Gonzalez in the face, before writing: “VAR catching my ‘aggression’ is easy … now I want to see the image of the racist calling me ‘MONO HIJO DE PUTA’ (monkey son of a bitch) … that I want to see!”
Gonzalez took to the social media platform to respond to Neymar, posting an image of himself posing with several non-white Marseille teammates with the caption: “Racism has no place in football. (…) Sometimes one must learn to lose and accept it on the pitch.”
At a press conference, Marseille coach Andre Villas-Boas said: “There is no place for racism in football, but I don’t think that was the case. We’ll have to look at it.”
The win, which was Marseille’s first over their historic rivals since 2011, ended in a brawl that saw Neymar and PSG substitutes Leandro Paredes and Layvin Kurzawa get sent off, while Marseille’s Jordan Amavi and Dario Benedetto were also dismissed for their parts in the fight, which occurred in the 97th minute of a tense and fractious match that saw a total of 17 cards shown, the most in a Ligue 1 game this century.
In a separate incident in the first half of Sunday’s game, Alvaro accused PSG forward Angel di Maria of spitting at him.
The loss is PSG’s second out of two Ligue 1 games since the start of the new season, the team’s worst record in 36 years, when the club finished in 13th place.
Including the Champions League final against Bayern Munich last month, PSG has now lost its last three competitive matches by 1-0.