Neymar lambasts 'weak referee'

Neymar lambasts 'weak referee'

Neymar lambasts 'weak referee'

A little under two weeks ago Neymar netted the goal that wrapped up Barcelona's Champions League triumph against Juventus but his needless sending off at the Copa America on Wednesday means the Brazil forward may have played his last game at the tournament.

Neymar was shown a red card at the end of their 1-0 Group C defeat to Colombia after he became involved in scuffles between the South American rivals and will miss Sunday's match against Venezuela and probably at least one more game.

The 23-year-old had earlier been booked for a handball and he complained afterwards that he was being victimised by match officials and criticised Chilean referee Enrique Osses, who also dismissed Colombia forward Carlos Bacca after the melee. "They have to use the rules against me," Neymar told reporters. "The ball hit me on the hand unintentionally and I got a yellow.

"This is what happens when you put in a weak referee. There was a misunderstanding but there was no need to send everyone off. I didn't even see that he had expelled me." The defeat was Brazil's first in 12 matches and the first game coach Dunga had failed to win since taking over following the 2014 World Cup finals.

It left Colombia and Brazil tied at the top of Group C on three points along with Venezuela, who have played one game fewer and meet Peru later on Thursday.

Neymar admitted he had a poor game against Colombia but said he was confident his team mates would get the result they needed against Venezuela and seal a place in the last eight.

"I admit we were not good and that I did not play well," he said. "I take full responsibility."

Neymar's Brazil and Barcelona team-mate Dani Alves lashed out at Chilean following the defeat. "Referees have to stop thinking that they are the stars, the stars are not them -- they are there to control the game," Alves fumed.

"We are used to this in South America -- everyone here is against Brazil." Alves also accused Colombia's players of seeking to provoke Neymar, 12 months after the striker suffered a broken vertebra during the two teams' stormy World Cup quarterfinal battle. 

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