PSG striker Neymar suspended 3 matches after clash with fan

PARIS (AP) — Neymar won’t play again at the Parc des Princes this season.

The Paris Saint-Germain striker was given a three-game ban on Friday for lashing out at a fan following a loss in the French Cup final last month, a punishment that capped another disappointing season for the Brazilian.

The French soccer federation’s disciplinary commission added a suspended two-match ban to its punishment.

PSG said in a statement it finds the sanction “severe” and has decided with Neymar to appeal the decision.

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After Rennes beat PSG 6-5 on penalties following a 2-2 draw in the final at the Stade de France, Neymar reacted angrily to a fan who was filming and verbally goading players as they walked up the stairs to collect their runner-up medals. Neymar exchanged a few words with the supporter then raised his hand to him. It was unclear if Neymar made physical contact with him.

Other PSG players, including Gianluigi Buffon and Marco Verratti, were verbally abused by the same person and ignored him.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel criticized Neymar for the spat and the Brazilian player later apologized.

The ban starts Monday, ruling Neymar out of PSG’s last two league games. He can, however, play with the French champions at Angers on Saturday.

The Brazil forward will also miss the Champions Trophy between the French champions and the French Cup winners on Aug. 3.

Neymar has also been suspended for three games by UEFA for insulting the video review officials who awarded Manchester United’s stoppage-time penalty when PSG was eliminated from the Champions League in the last 16.

Neymar became the most expensive player in the world when he moved from Barcelona to PSG for 222 million euros (about $250 million) in 2017. But his two seasons with the French champions have been quite disappointing in comparison with the huge expectations.

Neymar, who is in the second year of a five-year deal with PSG, has missed large chunks of both seasons because of a right foot injury that ruled him out of big games. He has scored 50 goals in his 57 matches with PSG but was unable to help the club in its goal to win the Champions League, the main reason behind his arrival in Paris.

Neymar injured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot last year and missed the return leg of his club’s last 16 Champions League game against Real Madrid. He was also absent for both matches against United because of a recurrence of the injury.

PSG has lost at that stage of the tournament in three straight seasons.

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