Scottish FA wants Neymar apology after race claims
The Scottish Football Association requested an apology Thursday from Brazil striker Neymar for accusing Scotland fans of racism during a friendly between the two countries.
Neymar complained he had been racially taunted by Scotland supporters after a banana was thrown in his direction from the crowd while he celebrated scoring the second of his two goals in Brazil's 2-0 win at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
With a German tourist admitting to throwing the banana and London police saying they received no official reports of racist taunts, the SFA asked for an apology ''either from the player involved, or the Brazilian FA.''
''Scotland's supporters were genuinely upset and annoyed that the unfounded allegations leveled against them threatened to sully their reputation as fair, good-humored and respectful spectators,'' SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said. ''As the matter has been resolved, and Scotland supporters cleared of any involvement, we felt it was only right that we acted on behalf of our supporters.''
Regan added he was disappointed the episode ''threatened to overshadow an entertaining match, played amidst a real carnival atmosphere created by supporters of both teams.''
A Scotland fan group previously said any jeers directed toward Neymar were in response to what supporters saw as the Santos striker faking injury. The officer in charge of police at the stadium, which is the home of Premier League club Arsenal, backed the Scotland fans.
''The Scottish fans' behavior was first class,'' match commander Mark Sheeran said Monday. ''There were no issues at all inside the stadium.''
The banana was apparently thrown by the tourist from the North Stand, which was occupied by Brazil fans.
Arsenal said there was no sinister motive behind the incident and will not be taking any further action.