Ligue 1

Neymar: Alvaro Gonzalez 'not racist' and 'has had death threats', say Marseille

The fallout of the wild final minutes of the PSG v Marseille match continues with the latter defending their player

8:00am on Tuesday 15th September 2020
Paul Macdonald

Marseille have released a strongly-worded statement insisting that defender Alvaro Gonzalez did not use racist language towards Neymar and that he has received death threats as a result of the accusation.

Five players were dismissed in the closing stages of OM's 1-0 victory against PSG on Sunday night, the last of which was Neymar for aiming a punch onto the back of the head of Gonzalez.

The Brazilian protested to the fourth official that he had been racially abused in the incident and doubled down on his claim on social media on Monday.

But French TV channels have reviewed footage from the match and could not find any offensive language, while the video has been referred to the authorities to study further and assess the course of action.

Meanwhile Marseille have vehemently defended the player, adding that Gonzalez's phone number had been spread online, leading to a day of harassment culminating in threats on his life.

The statement reads: "Alvaro Gonzalez is not racist, he has shown it to us by his daily behaviour since his arrival at the club, as his team-mates have already testified.

"The Club remains at the disposal of the disciplinary committee to fully co-operate in the investigation of all the events of this meeting, and the 24 hours which preceded them.

"This controversy is serious and already has [had] serious consequences. The club thus condemns the dissemination of the private telephone numbers of Alvaro Gonzalez and his relatives on Brazilian media and social networks, giving rise since to constant harassment, consisting in particular, of death threats.

"Olympique de Marseille is the very symbol of anti-racism in French professional sport, given its history and that of the city of Marseille, the diversity of its stands and the relentless struggle it leads. always to eradicate this scourge. Its players demonstrate it in their daily commitment on and off the pitch."

Angel Di Maria has also been accused of spitting at the defender during the second half and will be assessed in a separate disciplinary incident in what was one of the most ill-tempered matches in recent memory.

As well as the five red cards, the referee brandished 14 yellow cards, one of the most in any match in Ligue 1 in the 21st century.


PSG 0-1 Marseille: Neymar sees red, Mandanda FC MOTM

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