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Neymar's Father Says 'I Prefer an Internet Crime to Rape'; Latest on Allegations

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2019

Brazil's soccer player Neymar attends a practice session at the Granja Comary training center ahead the Copa America tournament in Teresopolis, Brazil, Sunday, June 2, 2019. A Brazilian police document says an unidentified woman has accused soccer star Neymar of raping her in Paris last month. After the revelation, the player used Instagram to publish a 7-minute video that includes WhatsApp messages he says he exchanged with the accuser in a friendly way days later. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Leo Correa/Associated Press

Neymar's father, Neymar Sr., has commented on the rape allegations surrounding the Paris Saint-Germain star, saying "I prefer an internet crime to rape" after the 27-year-old's Instagram video in which he defended himself was taken down.

Per Goal, a woman filed a police report in Brazil on Friday saying the star forward raped her. Neymar has not been charged with a crime, but he uploaded a video on Sunday to defend himself and shared private pictures of the woman in the process. He may have broken Brazilian law in doing so.

Per the report, Brazilian police have visited the national team's training ground―where Neymar and the Selecao are preparing for the Copa America―to officially notify him of the accusations. His father spoke to Band (h/t Goal) and defended the decision to post the video:

"We didn't have a choice [to post the content of the video].

"I prefer an internet crime to rape. It was Instagram that took the video down. By Instagram rules, it was normal.

"He censored the images, the name [of the woman]. He needed to defend himself quickly.

"It's better to be truthful and show what happened. We knew about the blackmail, but did not [expect] her to go to the police."

He also accused the woman of trying to extort his son for money.

Leo Correa/Associated Press

Per the Associated Press (h/t Sports Illustrated), national team manager Tite has said this is a personal matter the player has to deal with: "I know this is a personal matter and there needs to be time for people to judge the facts. I won't allow myself to judge the facts. What I can say to you is that I've been with Neymar for three years and in personal matters, between me and him, he is loyal and truthful."

Per the report, the woman said Neymar raped her in a hotel room in Paris on May 15. When the allegation came to light, Neymar responded in his seven-minute video, which included alleged messages between the two and several pictures. Some of the photos were blurred due to the "sexual content."

Neymar played his last match for PSG this season on May 11, a 2-1 win over Angers in Ligue 1.

Brazil have two more friendlies scheduled, against Qatar and Honduras, before the start of the Copa America. The Selecao will face Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru in the group stages, with their first match scheduled for June 14 in Sao Paolo.

Per Sports Illustrated, national team coordinator Edu Gaspar has said the player will be released from training or matches whenever needed. Brazil are looking for their first Copa America title since 2007.