Scottish FA denies Neymar racism claims
Mar 28, 2011, 15:01 GMT
London - The Scottish Football Association (SFA) Monday denied racism claims by Brazil star Neymar following Sunday's friendly international between the two sides in London.
In comments after the match, 19-year-old Neymar claimed he had been the target of racist abuse during Brazil's 2-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium.
As he prepared to take the penalty which gave him his second goal, a banana was apparently tossed by a spectator onto the playing surface.
However the SFA said it 'refutes claims from Neymar that he was the victim of racist jeers.'
Scotland fans had, however, been booing Neymar 'for perceived unsporting behaviour,' it said.
The SFA added: 'Scotland supporters are known for impeccable behaviour.'
Police match commander Mark Sheeran said: 'The Scottish fans' behaviour was first class. There were no issues at all inside the stadium.'
The SFA said it would contact the Brazilian Football Federation and the match organizers, Kentaro, to inform them of Sheeran's comments and of supporters' widespread unhappiness at the accusations.
Former Scotland international Pat Nevin, summarising the match for BBC Radio 5 Live, said Scottish fans were 'furious with all the diving about, rolling about feigning injury.'
He added: 'If there was any racist abuse in the midst of that then I would be quite surprised but also completely and utterly disgusted and horrified because that doesn't sound like the Tartan Army (supporters group).'
British newspapers quoted a spokesman for the Tartan Army, Hamish Husband, as saying racism had no place in football but that Neymar was booed for feigning injury.
'This young footballer has misunderstood the frustration of Scotland fans, who witnessed him rolling about on the grass apparently injured after a foul and then springing up to take a penalty,' Husband said.
'This is a total misunderstanding and a mountain out of an invisible molehill.
'Neymar is a young and talented footballer but to complain he was booed - well, that's just normal behaviour at a football match.
'In Scotland, football is still a contact sport so to roll around on the grass like that is frustrating to fans. We see that as an affront - it is bad sportsmanship.'
Read more about Brazil
Read more about Football Friendlies
Read more about Scotland