Brazil slam fans after popcorn thrown at Neymar

Brazil coach Fernando Diniz has condemned the “disrespectful” incident in which Neymar was hit on the head by a bag of popcorn thrown from the stands after his team’s 1-1 home draw with Venezuela.

The popcorn was thrown just before Neymar walked down the tunnel of the Arena Pantanal stadium at the end of Thursday’s 2026 World Cup qualifier.

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Neymar, who had played the entire game, had to be restrained by Diniz as he pointed and shouted at fans in the stands that were located where the object had been thrown.

“I completely disapprove,” Diniz said of the incident in his postmatch interview. “Cursing and booing is fine. Throwing a bag of popcorn doesn’t do anything for anyone.

“It’s disrespectful towards those who came to play and tried to do the best they could.”

Diniz was also frustrated that Brazil had not won the game as the result saw Argentina overtake them in the standings.

Argentina beat Paraguay 1-0 on Thursday to remain perfect in qualifying and go two points clear of Brazil after three games.

“We could have had a second [goal], a third, a fourth,” Diniz added. “We finished the plays poorly. We also shouldn’t have conceded Venezuela’s goal.

“We should have adjusted our marking and not given the opponent the chance to finish. But the team didn’t play a bad game. The players feel the heat and the difficulty of the pitch.”

Brazil return to action when they face Uruguay in another qualifying clash in Montevideo on Tuesday.


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