Brazil’s captain will play no further part in the 2015 Copa America tournament.
Neymar, 23, was handed a four-match ban after kicking the ball at opponent Pablo Armero and then appeared to headbutt another Colombian player after the final whistle as ugly scenes played out following the Selecao’s 1-0 defeat to Los Cafateros last week.
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Dunga, head coach of the Brazilian national team, had previously stated that the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) would appeal the four-game ban which would put Neymar out of the rest of the tournament. But in a statement released on Monday the CBF confirmed they would not be appealing the ban and Neymar is heading home from Chile.
Here’s what they had to say in the statement:
At a meeting held on Sunday evening between Neymar and the coaching staff, it was decided that the CBF will comply with the decision of the CONMEBOL, which suspended the player for four games and leaves him out of the Copa America.
The coaching staff and the player expect the same rigor with which CONMEBOL punished Neymar to be adopted in all competitions organized by the entity.
Without Neymar, Brazil beat Venezuela 2-1 on Sunday to rubber-stamp their spot in the quarterfinals of the Copa America. Veteran winger Robinho stepped in for Neymar and impressed in attack but losing their talisman, who has scored 44 goals in 64 games for his country, will undoubtedly hurt their chances of winning their third Copa America title in their last four outings.
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Brazil will face Paraguay in the quarterfinals on Saturday and if they prevail, they will play the winner of Argentina vs. Colombia in the semifinal. Without Neymar, those games are looking increasingly tricky for the South American giants to navigate.