Neymar will miss rest of Copa America after Brazil drop suspension appeal
Neymar will leave the team's Copa America base on Monday morning and miss the rest of the tournament after it was decided against appealing his four-game suspension, the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) has confirmed.
Neymar, 23, was sent off at the conclusion of Wednesday's defeat to Colombia for an attempted head-butt of Jeison Murillo that sparked a melee, during which Colombia striker Carlos Bacca was also shown red.
On Friday the Barcelona forward saw a provisional two-game suspension increased to four games -- and the remainder of the Copa America -- but the Selecao will not follow up an initial decision to appeal the ban.
"Neymar is set to leave the Brazilian national football team headquarters this morning in Santiago de Chile", the CBF said in an official statement.
They CFB added that it hoped the Copa America disciplinary committee "applies the same rigour as CONMEBOL" and that the sanction applies for "all competitions" organised by the governing body.
Neymar issued a statement via Instagram encouraging his teammates to focus without him and apologising for his mistakes.
"I had Faith and was hoping up until now that there was the possibility I would be able to play with the Selecao in Copa America," the statement reads.
"Sadly, that will not be possible. I know that my presence is the group is important, and so is the presence of all the rest of the players so now more than ever we must have all of our thoughts completely focused on the matches ahead of us.
"I have never skirted the responsibility of being a leader of the group and as captain I have always dedicated myself to seek victory and make decisions, whether they are right or wrong. This is a decisive moment.
"No matter where I am from this point on, I will always be with the team, cheering for the success of my teammates and knowing that I am on the sidelines but would kill to be playing.
"There is no happiness. It is very hard to have trained for something and then have a situation that may have turned into an accidental injury or that would have made everything more difficult.
"I wanted to say what I felt to the group and to the coaching staff, who have always supported me. My staying here could disrupt the concentration of my team.
"I ask my teammates to forgive me. Being in this situation I am certain has been a learning experience in my career.
"Good luck Brazil!!"
Brazilian coach Dunga gave Neymar the freedom to decide to stay with the squad or leave Chile to start his summer holidays.
According to the referee Enrique Osses' match report, Neymar insulted him after kicking a ball at Colombian player Armero at the end of the game, saying: "You want to make yourself famous at my expense, you son of a b---h."
Brazil managed to qualify for the quarterfinals of the tournament on Sunday by beating Venezuela 2-1 to set up a tie against Paraguay on June 27.
Colombia international Bacca's mother says she wanted to "hit" Neymar after the game, adding: "If I'd have been in the stadium I would have taken off my high heel and hit Neymar; I know many women in the stadium would have joined me."