Brazilian striker Neymar has claimed that the Tartan Army racially abused him throughout the friendly match between Scotland and Brazil at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, in which Scotland lost 2-0.
The 19 year old striker claimed that the 30,000 Scotland fans repeatedly booed him, and that one allegedly threw a banana onto the pitch.
Santos striker Neymar claimed, “They were jeering me a lot. It was a racist atmosphere.” And mentioning the banana, Neymar said, “I was running down the wing when it happened. I don’t know where it came from, but it’s a sad thing for this to happen here.”
The banana was thrown from an area where Brazilian fans were in the majority, and with Scottish fans and neutrals mingling in amongst them.
But Tartan Army spokesman Hamish Husband slammed the claims of racism from Neymar.
He said, “Neymar was being booed, but only because we felt he’d been feigning injury. There’s no place for racism in the support and if there was any instance of it we’d stamp it out through self-policing.”
Husband added, “We have a strong bond with Brazilian football. It was a Scot who took the game to their country and it was the 1982 World Cup game between us that saw the birth of the modern Tartan Army. The fact is, they played us off the park here, we knew it and we applauded them for it.”
The SFA strongly denied any hint of racism from the Tartan Army also, “There has been no such incident reported to the police or stadium safety officer. Scotland’s supporters are known the world over for their impeccable behaviour and we have no reason to believe that, after speaking to the relevant authorities, they have been anything other than exemplary. They helped create a wonderful spectacle and should be applauded for their support.”
The Scottish FA has contacted the Brazilian Football Federation and the match organisers, Kentaro, to inform them of our information and of our supporters’ unhappiness at the unfounded accusations.
Brazil midfielder Lucas Leiva is said to have removed the banana from the pitch. The Liverpool midfielder said, “There is no more space for racism in the world. They say it’s the first world here in Europe, but it’s where it happens the most. That has to change. Everybody is equal today, it’s a matter of respect.”
The only ‘eye witness’ testimony appears to have been from the Sunday Times twitterette who stated, “Bananagate at Emirates – I saw the offending fruit thrown (was standing 30 yards away) by a Brazilian fan celebrating Neymar pen.”
As yet there is no official complaint from the Brazilian Football Association.
If it was indeed a racist act then we deplore it and hope that the offender is found and punished accordingly. On another point the comments from SFA President George Peat is deplorable and failed to back the Tartan Army. He said, “That’s a sad state if that’s true. That’s an extremely unusual incident, that, if it happened.”
Yet no comments to back the Tartan Army or their past exploits and good behaviour? Now why is that George? You have a lot to say about everyone else, especially at club level yet you fail to back the fans of the Scotland National side? Your position has been untenable for a while, this must be the final nail in the coffin of your pitiful presidency of our governing body. It will be a great day when you leave the President’s position, sadly we still have to put up with you for a few months still.