Villas-Boas defends Marseille player after Neymar racism claim
Marseille head coach Andre Villas-Boas has defended the club’s player Alvaro Gonzalez following Neymar’s racism claim against the centre-back.
Paris St-Germain forward Neymar was the last of five red cards in Sunday’s bad-tempered Ligue 1 match, sent off for hitting Gonzalez.
“We are sure that Alvaro is not racist,” said Villas-Boas.
“Marseille and PSG are here to help find the truth about this controversy. I am behind my player.”
Neymar and team-mates Leandro Paredes and Layvin Kurzawa, plus Marseille pair Jordan Amavi and Dario Benedetto, were dismissed after trouble broke out in the final few minutes of the game, which PSG lost 1-0.
After his dismissal, Neymar informed the fourth official he had been subjected to racial abuse by Gonzalez and later wrote of the Spaniard: “Insulting and bringing racism into our lives no, I don’t agree. I don’t respect you, you have no character.”
Gonzalez denied racism and accused Neymar of being a bad loser.
Marseille midfielder Valentin Rongier says all the players at the club are supporting Gonzalez.
“I didn’t hear anything,” he said.
“Obviously he (Gonzalez) is affected. It’s never easy. When he connected his phone on the way home, he saw that he received death threats from around the world on things that had not even been proven.
“It has affected his family too. People don’t realise this. He is living a complicated moment, we are in solidarity with him.”
The French Football League (LFP) disciplinary committee will meet on Wednesday to examine all five red cards and will use reports from officials and match pictures to decide whether further disciplinary action is taken.