Thursday June 18th, 2015

Brazil captain Neymar was given a provisional one-game suspension by the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) after he appeared to headbutt Colombia's Jeison Murillo in the 1-0 Copa America loss on Wednesday night.

An appeal is expected to be made by the Brazilian Football Confederation to have the suspension reduced. A final ruling will be issued on Friday.

Neymar drew a yellow card just before halftime, which was his second of Copa America and draws an automatic one-game suspension. The hit on Murillo came after the final whistle resulted in a red card, which would mean an additional suspension. Colombia's Bacca was also dismissed from the game after a retaliation shove on Neymar.

Neymar's teammates said Colombia was targeting Neymar and officials were allowing their star to get roughed up. 

“Referees have to stop thinking that they are the stars,” Alves told the Agence France-Presse​. “The stars are not them–they are there to control the game. We are used to this in South America -- everyone here is against Brazil.”

A two-game suspension on top of his red-card ban would bench Neymar until the semifinal round, if Brazil advances to that stage. Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela are all tied at three points a piece in Group C. The Brazilians will play their final group-stage match against Venezuela on Sunday.

At the 2014 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal, Neymar was carted off the field with a broken vertebrae after taking a kick to the back from Colombia's Juan Camilo Zúñiga in the 88th minute of Brazil's eventual 2-1 victory.

- Christopher Chavez

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