Soccer-Marseille coach Villa-Boas defends Alvaro against Neymar racism complaint

15 Sep 2020 / 23:08 H.

    BARCELONA, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Olympique de Marseille coach Andre Villas-Boas has defended Alvaro Gonzalez after Neymar accused the centre back of racism.

    Paris St Germain forward Neymar said he was the target of a racist slur from Alvaro during Sunday's 1-0 defeat by Marseille, in which he was sent off for brawling along with four other players.

    "We are alongside our player, in the search for the truth," Villas-Boas told reporters on Tuesday. "We are sure that Alvaro is not racist. Olympique de Marseille represents multiculturality.

    "He (Neymar) suffered, too. He knows precisely the impact of false accusations (after a rape case against him was dismissed and the perpetrators charged with perverting the course of justice).

    "It's not correct towards Alvaro. It's a sensitive subject. Marseille and PSG are here to help find the truth."

    Neymar struck Alvaro on the back of the head during the game and later tweeted saying he regretted not hitting the Spaniard in the face.

    The Brazilian admitted on Instagram that it was a mistake to attack Alvaro but defended his own stance against racism.

    Alvaro's team mate Valentin Rongier said: "I heard absolutely nothing. (Alvaro) is always smiling and respectful, even if he likes to make fun of others. Maybe he managed to make Neymar go berserk." (Reporting by Rik Sharma, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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