PARIS (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain have sent French football authorities a video that some lip-reading experts say confirms Marseille defender Alvaro Gonzalez used a racial slur against Neymar, leading to an on-pitch brawl, Brazilian media reported.
A week after PSG’s 1-0 loss to their arch rivals ended with Neymar slapping Gonzalez on the back of the head – triggering a melee that ended with five players sent off – Brazil’s Globo Esporte said the Brazilian superstar’s club had submitted video of the preceding minutes to the league “to attempt to prove that Neymar was the victim of racism”.
Brazilian news site UOL said Monday (Sept 21) it had confirmed the information.
Three Brazilian lip-reading experts interviewed by Globo TV Sunday agreed that Gonzalez had called Neymar “mono” or monkey in Spanish – just before the brawl, after watching the footage from French broadcaster Telefoot.
However, other lip-reading experts – notably in Gonzalez’s native Spain – have analysed the same tape and found no evidence the defender used a racial slur.
According to some Spanish media reports, Neymar in fact used a homophobic slur against Gonzalez, while Spanish radio station Cadena COPE went one further, claiming the Selecao forward used a racial slur against Marseille defender Hiroki Sakai during the same match.
Cadena said the 28-year-old called his Japanese opponent a “Chinese s***”, while the Daily Mail added Marseille “have evidence” of him doing so.
The French league, which suspended Neymar for two matches over the incident, has announced a probe into his accusations, which Gonzalez denies.