Rape allegation could force Neymar to miss Copa America – CBF vice-president

The Paris Saint-Germain forward has denied the allegations ahead of the Selecao hosting the tournament, which begins on June 14

The rape allegation levelled at Neymar could prompt the Brazil forward to skip the Copa America, according to Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) vice-president Francisco Noveletto.

Sao Paulo police have confirmed to Goal that there has been a complaint made against the player from a Brazilian woman he met in Paris.

The police would not discuss details of the ongoing investigation following the complaint filed by the woman on May 31.

Brazilian outlet UOL was the first to report the accusations and claim statements made to authorities are being kept confidential.

Neymar denies the allegations, and his camp maintains the 27-year-old’s innocence, stating that he was the target of a blackmail attempt, while the player’s father believes WhatsApp messages sent to his son’s phone from the woman would be used to help clear his name.

This all comes just days before Neymar is set to play a key role in Brazil’s Copa America campaign, with the Selecao hosting a tournament they have not won since 2007.

And Noveletto believes the spotlight on Neymar will see the 27-year-old withdraw from the squad ahead of the tournament, which kicks-off on June 14.

“If I had to bet, if I had 10 chips and they asked me what I would bet? I bet he will not come and he will ask for leave,” he told SBT on Tuesday.

“He doesn’t have the psychological conditions to face a Copa America and a battalion of journalists.”

It came hours after CBF president Rogerio Caboclo said there was “no chance” of Neymar not taking part in the Copa.

“We are following the matter closely and we have complete confidence in Neymar, we know what kind of man he is and what of sportsman he is,” Caboclo told reporters.

Brazil’s  manager, Tite, too remains hopeful the former Barcelona star will form part of his squad.

“The subject is a personal one and there will be time for people to judge the facts. For now, I won’t allow myself to judge,” he told a press conference on Monday.

“What I can say is that, in three years together, in our discussions about personal subjects, he was always loyal and truthful.

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“We say he is indispensable, we are not saying he is irreplaceable. He is indispensable, but nobody is irreplaceable.”

Brazil’s tournament begins against Bolivia on June 14 before Group A matches against Venezuela (June 18) and Peru (June 22).

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