Neymar could face up to an eight-match ban for striking a fan in the stands after Paris Saint-Germain fell to Stade Rennes in the Coupe de la Ligue final over the weekend.
The Brazilian was caught on camera hitting a fan in the face during an altercation while walking up the steps of the stands with teammates.
PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel condemned the act after the match, not holding back about his player’s petulant actions. “I did not like it, I did not like it at all,” said Tuchel. “It is not possible to do this sort of thing. Defeat is not easy to accept, but you must show respect. You cannot do that.”
Later, Tuchel gave a vague indictment of the mentality of his squad. “What I will say is that there are some players who love to win, and others who hate to lose,” Tuchel said. It’s unclear who he was referring to.
According to Ligue 1 rules, Neymar could face a number of different ban lengths, depending on the league’s interpretations of the action, but it’s clear he could face up to eight games on the sidelines. L’Equipe reports that Neymar is looking at a four-match ban, but there are rules in place that could see him out longer. Acting out “after the match against a player – coach – trainer – official or a member of the public” earns a five-match ban, while “any violent action by a player, damaging the physical integrity of the person who is the victim” earns eight matches if the “brutality or blow(s) not causing injury or resulting in an injury found by medical certificate to not cause a temporary incapacity for work.”
Neymar has a history of lashing out, and only just received a three-match Champions League ban for a social media outburst following PSG’s elimination at the hands of Manchester United. The Brazilian hammered the referees on Instagram, using foul language to attack a penalty decision late in the match. The ban will see him miss half of next year’s group stage.
The petulant actions coupled with Neymar’s lengthy time off and recent public comments have caused many to speculate he could leave PSG this summer. He spoke about his desire to play with Eden Hazard, causing some to believe he is off to Real Madrid this summer where Hazard is heavily speculated to be headed.