Brazilian star Neymar will miss three Champions League matches next season, UEFA confirmed Wednesday, as punishment for insulting a referee following Paris Saint-Germain’s collapse against Manchester United.
UEFA first imposed the ban in April before PSG contested the decision, but a final decision was delivered on Wednesday.
“The appeal lodged by PSG is rejected. Consequently, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body’s decision of April 25 is confirmed,” UEFA said.
The world’s most expensive footballer was ruled out of the match with an injury. He watched from the stands as United were awarded a penalty deep into injury time after a protracted VAR decision, which Marcus Rashford scored to knock the French side out in the last 16 of the Champions League.
The 27-year-old aimed an Instagram rant laced with expletives at the match officials.
“It’s a disgrace. They get four guys who don’t understand football to watch a slow motion replay in front of the TV,” wrote Neymar.
The striker had been having a poor season by his own exalted standards after being booed and mocked for diving at the World Cup, where Brazil were dumped out in the quarters by Belgium.
He failed to make the Top 10 in the Ballon d’Or race and then injured his right metatarsal just 13 months after a previous lengthy layoff.
He then lost the Brazil captaincy and is facing accusations that he raped a Brazilian woman in Paris. He vehemently denies the accusations.
Neymar then injured his ankle in a friendly match, ruling him out of the Copa America on home soil.
Paris Saint-Germain have indicated they would be prepared to offload the brilliant but troublesome winger who cost them a world-transfer 222-million-euro fee two years ago.