PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN star forward stands a good chance of missing his team’s first-ever Champions League final. This is after the Brazilian disregard one of the important Covid-19 protocols at the end of the semi-final against RB Leipzig on Tuesday.
PSG were in fine form against the German underdogs with the moment of the night quite possibly being Neymar’s beautiful back-heeled assist for Angel di Maria in the 42nd minute. But worryingly, Neymar, who put in excellent performances in the quarter and semi-finals, is key to the French champions’ quest of becoming European champions for the first time.
But the Brazilian mega-talent could miss the final. His offence: at full-time in the game that was, Neymar was blatantly caught swapping shirts with Leipzig defender Marcel Halstenberg. This action goes against the rules put in place in football as part of the World Health Organization’s recommendations to curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
UEFA’s protocols state: “Players are recommended to refrain from swapping their shirts,” with a breach to these protocols possibly “leading to disciplinary measures in accordance with the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.” But the rules don’t state that shirt swapping leads to a player needing to self-isolate and nor does it specifically say what disciplinary measures will be used.
So, there is no guarantee of a suspension. The fact that not swapping shirts is merely ‘recommended’ potentially means the former Barcelona star may get away with a slap on the wrist. The 28-year-old is enjoying the third season at PSG but has been injured as the club have been knocked out of the Champions League in the previous two seasons.
However, with the opportunity now beckoning, the former Santos player will be eyeing a second Champions League win – having helped Barcelona capture the 2015 final after beating Juventus with Neymar making the scoresheet. He will, no doubt, be desperate to get on the board again in Lisbon should his shirt-swapping antics not warrant for the harshest punishment.