Fernandinho Says Neymar Has Support of Brazil Team After Rape Allegations

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIJune 2, 2019

Brazil's midfielder Fernandinho (R) and forward Neymar attend a training session at the Tsentralny Stadium in Kazan on July 5, 2018, on the eve of the Russia 2018 World Cup quarter final football match between Belgium and Brazil. (Photo by SAEED KHAN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
SAEED KHAN/Getty Images

Brazil midfielder Fernandinho says Neymar has the support of the Brazil team after the Paris Saint-Germain forward was accused of raping a woman in Paris.

Tite's squad is currently preparing for the 2019 Copa America, which begins in Brazil on June 14, and Fernandinho says he believes his team-mate is innocent of the charges, according to Reuters.

"I heard about this with great sadness and I thought it strange," he said. "Fifteen days of travel until the girl denounced him. But I think this is going to be cleared up as soon as possible and I believe in Neymar's innocence. We the players and the backroom staff are going to support him so that it doesn’t have any effect on the field."

In a Brazilian police report, the woman alleges Neymar raped her May 15 in a Paris hotel, according to the Associated Press.

The 27-year-old has denied the accusations and stated his innocence in a video on Instagram.

Neymar has spoken of his "surprise" and sadness at the accusations, as shown by Goal:

Goal @goal

Neymar denies rape accusations in his latest Instagram video 👇 https://t.co/bnBndfTugO

The video includes a caption in Portuguese that reads, "Due to extortion, I'm being forced to expose my life and my family," per BBC Sport.

In the video, Neymar shows a series of WhatsApp messages he says are from the woman "including photographs of her in her underwear," per BBC Sport.

The player's father has said his son is the victim of blackmail, per AFP Sport:

AFP Sport @AFP_Sport

Neymar denies allegations of rape made by a Brazilian woman and his father says the Brazil and PSG star is a victim of blackmail More: https://t.co/c7mS5n5X6k #Neymar https://t.co/7xGDHQl92a

Rio de Janeiro police are to begin an investigation into Neymar "in relation to the release of intimate photos allegedly of the woman who has accused the footballer of rape," per AS

The report also notes that in Brazil it is "a crime to offer, share, transmit, sell, distribute or publish images or videos of sexual content by any means without the consent of the subject" and carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.