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Neymar ruled out of Copa America with injury

Last updated on: June 06, 2019 14:39 IST
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IMAGE: Neymar appeared to twist his ankle and was carried to the dressing room with his right ankle wrapped in ice. Photograph: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

Brazil forward Neymar has been ruled out of the Copa America after suffering a serious ankle injury in a 2-0 friendly win over Qatar on Wednesday, the country's soccer federation said in a statement.

Neymar limped off in the 17th minute after he appeared to twist his ankle and was carried to the dressing room with his right ankle wrapped in ice.


"Neymar was evaluated and underwent scans that confirmed a ligament rupture in the ankle," the statement said.

"Due to the seriousness of the injury, Neymar will not recover in time to participate in the Copa America in Brazil."

Brazil President Bolsonaro defends Neymar

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday came out in support of Neymar, the national soccer star who has been accused of raping a woman last month in Paris, an allegation he denies.

"Today I'm supposed to be at the game between Brazil and Qatar," said Bolsonaro at an event in the city of Aragarças. "I hope to hug Neymar. He is a boy who is in a difficult moment but I believe in him."

A woman accused Neymar, 27, of raping her at a Paris hotel last month, according to a police report at the weekend. Sao Paulo police are investigating the accusation.

Following media reports on the matter, Neymar posted a long video on Instagram in which he denied the accusations against him, said he was a victim of extortion, and shared WhatsApp messages with the alleged victim, including racy photos he had received.

That led police in Rio de Janeiro to open a fresh investigation into whether he had committed a crime by posting the intimate pictures online.

In 2003, he pushed Congresswoman Maria do Rosario of the leftist Workers Party and told her that he "would never rape you because you do not deserve it" and because she was "very ugly."

Bolsonaro repeated the comment in 2014 in the chamber and was convicted on a charge of inciting rape last year. In February, Supreme Court Justice Marco Aurelio Mello ordered Bolsonaro to pay a fine of 10,000 reais ($2,577.78) to Rosario.

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