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article imageLawyers drop Brazil star Neymar's rape accuser

By AFP     Jun 4, 2019 in Sports

Lawyers for a woman who accused Brazil star Neymar of rape are no longer representing her because of contradictions in her story, Globo TV reported on Monday.

The lawyers said the woman initially told them she had had consensual sex with Neymar, the world's most expensive footballer, in a Paris hotel in May and that he then became violent and assaulted her.

But the Sao Paulo-based firm, Fernandes e Abreu, said that in the official complaint the women gave to the Brazilian police, she "described what had happened as 'rape', which is a completely different allegation."

Neymar posted a video on Instagram on Saturday vehemently denying he had raped the woman.

In the seven-minute video, he showed a string of WhatsApp messages he said he had received from the Brazilian woman. He also named the woman and showed what he said were photographs of her topless and apparently in his hotel bed.

Police in Rio said Sunday they had launched an investigation into the publication of intimate information on social media concerning the women.

Neymar's father has claimed the Paris Saint-Germain player is the victim of a blackmail attempt.

- 'No rush to judgement' -

Neymar is currently preparing with the Brazil squad for the Copa America.

Brazil coach Tite on Monday said he would "not judge" the player.

"I understand the seriousness of the issue," Tite said. "But there must be time for people to be able weigh the facts."

"I'm not going to let myself judge the facts," the coach said at the Brazilian squad's training complex outside Rio.

Tite added: "In the three years I have been dealing with Neymar, all the personal issues we have dealt with have been fair and truthful."

"Neymar is an extraordinary player. From a technical point of view, he is indispensible," Tite said, although he added that did not mean he was "irreplaceable."

Neymar has reportedly been summoned to appear before investigators in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.

But the footballer is due to be in the southern city of Porto Alegre that day to prepare for a friendly match against Honduras on Sunday ahead of the Copa.

According to Globoesporte.com, Neymar could give evidence on the Monday after the match before returning to his teammates in Sao Paulo.

Neymar, who was transferred to PSG from Barcelona for a world-record 222 million euros ($248.5 million) in 2017, is currently in Brazil preparing for the Copa America, which takes place in the country from June 14 to July 7.

His 2018-2019 season with PSG was blighted by injury and he courted controversy by lashing out at a supporter after the club suffered a shock defeat in the French Cup final.

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