(Reuters) – Brazil’s appeal against Neymar missing their first two South American 2018 World Cup qualifiers this month has been turned down, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Friday.
Neymar, banned for four matches at the Copa America in Chile in June by the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL), will miss the matches away to Chile next Thursday and at home to Venezuela five days later.
“CONMEBOL, after consulting (world body) FIFA, informed its members that bans which were still not served should be served during the next official competition organised by FIFA, i.e., Brazil’s qualifying matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia,” CAS said in a statement.
Brazil’s CBF, who had declined to appeal in June, changed their mind and went to CAS arguing that the suspension should apply only to the Copa America.
Neymar was suspended after being sent off at the end of Brazil’s 1-0 defeat by Colombia in the group phase of the Copa America. He was involved in a fracas and Chilean referee Enrique Osses reported him for insulting him in the players’ tunnel.
The gifted forward served the first two matches of his suspension in other matches Brazil played at the tournament, including their quarter-final defeat by Paraguay on penalties.
(Reporting by Rex Gowar; editing by Clare Fallon)