Neymar backed by Santos for partying

Santos said reports that Neymar partied with prostitutes at the team’s hotel show there is a conspiracy to try to make him leave Brazilian football.

The Lance sports daily reported Wednesday that security cameras captured Neymar and some teammates with prostitutes at the hotel.

Santos president Luis Alvaro Ribeiro did not confirm or deny that his players had invited a group of women to their rooms after a 2-1 victory over Gremio in the Brazilian league on Aug. 26.

However, Ribeiro accused "some people" of trying to "demonize" Neymar and turn the fans against him in a bid to expedite his transfer to European football.

"They are trying to make Neymar look like a bad boy, something he isn’t," Ribeiro said. "It seems there is a conspiracy to get him to leave Brazilian football."

Neymar ignored a huge offer from Chelsea in August to extend his contract with Santos until 2015.

Ribeiro also criticized a recent story by English newspaper The Sun, which said Neymar still wants to play for Chelsea. The president said the comments are from before Santos rejected Chelsea’s offer and only benefits those who want Neymar to leave.

Ribeiro said that, within reason, his players are free to do what they want after a match and dismissed any prospect of punishment.

Lance said the incident was the first of many that eventually led to the dismissal of coach Dorival Junior from Santos last month.

The 18-year-old Neymar made headlines by criticizing Junior and his teammates after the coach didn’t allow him to take a penalty in a match on Sept. 15.

Neymar was fined by Santos and apologized for his behavior. But the coach said that wasn’t not enough, requesting club directors suspend the player indefinitely. The disagreement led to his dismissal on Sept. 22.

The incident cost Neymar a spot in Brazil’s national team for this week’s friendlies against Iran and Ukraine.