Emery calls for refs to give Neymar more protection


Paris Saint-Germain head coach Unai Emery has called for match officials in France to afford Neymar more protection from rough treatment, after he was reportedly provoked and sent off recently.

The Brazil superstar picked up his marching orders in PSG’s 2-2 with Marseille in Ligue 1. In the contest, it appeared L’OM were targeting the 25-year-old with some rough fouls being committed against him.

In last Sunday’s Le Classique he picked up a late red after seemingly retaliating against Lucas Ocampos, when the Argentinean winger hacked him down close to the halfway line – although replays suggested he’d been hard done by.

He was later defended by team-mate Marco Verratti, who said he would have snapped long before the 87th-minute dismissal took place, such was the rough punishment he was being handed out.

As such, Emery called for more protection for the forward but added that he had to make smarter decisions when intimidation tactics are being used.

The Spaniard told reporters: “He has to adapt to the league, to the team, to the referees. He is intelligent and he is aware that he will learn from Sunday’s game.

“Other players are aggressive with him, but it’s important that the referees handle that. I talked with him about it, not responding to provocations, but players are people. They can react if there is too much aggression.”