via Reuters

Brazil’s qualifier against Venezuela was marred with controversy. Neymar was on the receiving end of harassment from fans who chucked buckets of popcorn at him from the stands at the Arena Pantanal, the Selecao’s home turf. Consequently, Neymar has now refused to travel with the national team for their coming fixture despite netting approximately $50 million.

Following the 1-1 draw, while walking back to the dressing room, the Al Hilal forward was heckled at and was also harassed by a group of fans in the stands. Neymar tried to confront fans but was escorted out to the back.

Neymar Jr frustrated over harassment from fans


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The Al Hilal superstar is said to be extremely angry with the fans at the stadium. According to the reports from Daily Mail, Neymar has refused to travel with the team for their upcoming game against Uruguay. The player has also asked the Brazil Football Association to stop hosting games at the venue.

While the player has been seen training with the team ahead of their important fixture, it will be interesting to see if he sticks to his word or decides to travel with the team ahead of an all-important fixture against Uruguay.

Also Read: Minutes After Neymar’s Misfiring, Rival Venezuela Fans Drag Dirt on Al Hilal Star With an Ugly Gesture

While Neymar has been frustrated at the actions of the fans, his manager Fernando Diniz also slammed the behaviour of the Venezuelan supporters.

Fernando Diniz slams fans following ugly incident

Brazil’s head coach, Fernando Diniz, was not too impressed by the events following the game against Venezuela. Diniz went down hard on the fans during his press conference, asking them to respect the players.


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“I completely disapprove. Cursing and booing are fine. Throwing a bag of popcorn doesn’t do anyone any good. It’s disrespectful to those who came to play and tried to do their best.”

Diniz then also touched down on his team’s performance and backed them despite the draw. However, the manager added that the players will need to put more effort into the coming fixtures.

“We gave away counter-attacks we shouldn’t have. And in the Venezuelan goal, we failed to do something we shouldn’t have done. Adjusting the marking and giving the opposition the chance to finish. But the team didn’t have a bad match. We just didn’t finish well. The players are feeling the heat and the difficulty of the pitch.”


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Brazil will be up against Uruguay in their upcoming encounter. Both sides are coming off a draw from their respective games and will be hoping to bag a win in this fixture. If Neymar stays true to his words and refuses to travel with Brazil, this could be a tough clash for the Selecao.

Written by

Saurabh Saket


One take at a time

Saurabh Saket is a soccer writer at EssentiallySports. While Saket has been a football fan for a while, his passion for the sport stems from FIFA 17 which featured Borussia Dortmund superstar Marco Reus on its cover. With dreams of standing as a part of the Yellow Wall at Signal Iduna Park, Saket loves to write about the game from a fan’s perspective giving his take on recent happenings.
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Edited by

Jayant Chhabra