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Brazil's Neymar suspended for one match

AFP , Thursday 18 Jun 2015
Neymar
Brazil's Neymar confronts Colombia's Jeison Murillo (L) as referee Enrique Osses approaches during their first round Copa America 2015 soccer match at Estadio Monumental David Arellano in Santiago, Chile, June 17, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)
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Brazilian star Neymar has been provisionally suspended for one match and could face a harsher final punishment, officials said Thursday after the striker received a red card during a fracas in Brazil's Copa America loss to Colombia.

South American federation CONMEBOL's disciplinary committee "provisionally suspended Neymar for one game after his behavior in the aftermath of Brazil's 1-0 defeat to Colombia, and will meet on Friday to decide the final punishment," said a statement on the Copa America website.

Colombia upset the five-time world champions in a combative game Wednesday that ended in a tumultuous melee, as Neymar appeared to aim a headbutt at Colombian goalscorer Jeison Murillo.

Colombian striker Carlos Bacca also received a red card for pushing Neymar from behind.

Neymar had previously received a second yellow card for a handball, meaning at least a one-game suspension was inevitable.

The Barcelona star had received a first yellow card during Brazil's opening win against Peru.

The Copa America website initially reported a two-game suspension, but later clarified that the 23-year-old striker was suspended for one game in a preliminary decision, to be reviewed when the disciplinary committee meets Friday.

A two-match suspension would rule him out of Brazil's final group game against Venezuela Sunday and any quarter-final clash.

There was already bad blood between Neymar and the Colombian team heading into the match.

He suffered a fractured vertebra when Colombia's Juan Camilo Zuniga collided with him in their World Cup quarter-final clash last July, an injury that sidelined him for the rest of the tournament.

Wednesday's match left Group C of the South American championship up for grabs, with three teams tied at three points each: Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela.

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