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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Neymar lucky to only get four-game ban - CONMEBOL's Alberto Lozada

Brazil star Neymar "got off lightly" after he received a four-match suspension following his red card against Colombia, according to a member of CONMEBOL's disciplinary committee.

The Brazil captain confronted and verbally abused the referee before going into the changing rooms, according to the referee's report, after he was dismissed at the end of his team's 1-0 Copa America defeat to Colombia.

The Barcelona forward was sent off after he had kicked the ball at Pablo Armero after the full-time whistle and then appeared to headbutt Jeison Murillo when he was confronted.

He had already incurred a one-match ban after being booked for a seemingly unintentional handball earlier in the Colombia match, having also picked up a booking for removing the referee's vanishing spray in Brazil's Copa America opener against Peru.

Brazil have vowed to appeal the ban, which would rule Neymar out of the rest of the tournament, with coach Dunga saying on Saturday that his confederation was only seeking "what's fair."

Neymar is said to have confronted referee Enrique Osses in the tunnel at the end of the match.

However, Alberto Lozada, a member of the disciplinary committee, said Neymar's punishment was so severe because he had provoked a confrontation in the tunnel with referee Enrique Osses.

Lozada told Associated Press: "The referee's report says that Mr. Neymar was waiting for him to insult him. Neymar grabbed him by the arms, and told him: 'You want to get famous through me, you son of a [expletive]?'"

He added in quotes reported by Marca: "Based on what the report says, it was premeditated, waiting for the referee in the tunnel and insulting him. His punishment could have been harsher. He got off lightly."

Given that the referee suggested that there was a physical element to the confrontation, Spanish newspaper AS has highlighted Article 10.2 of CONMEBOL's disciplinary regulations, which stipulates:

a) Suspension for at least two matches or for a period of time determined for unsporting conduct towards a match official taking into consideration the seriousness of the offence.

b) Suspension for at least ten (10) games or for a period of time of at least four (4) months for assaulting or spitting at any match official.

There is little suggestion that the physical aspect of the confrontation was serious, however.

Lozada also told AP that Brazil argued that Neymar did not mean to hit Armero when he kicked the ball, but just wanted to vent his frustration. He also said the Brazilian confederation claimed Neymar did not hit anyone when he tried to headbutt another player, and that his confrontation with the referee in the tunnel was emotional and not offensive.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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