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Page last updated at 14:56 GMT, Tuesday, 29 March 2011 15:56 UK

Arsenal identify German teenager as banana thrower

Brazil celebrate Neymar's second goal at the Emirates
Neymar (centre) scored both goals as Brazil eased to victory against Scotland

A German teenage tourist has admitted throwing a banana at Brazil star Neymar at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, Arsenal football club have confirmed.

Neymar accused Scotland fans of racist behaviour during Brazil's 2-0 win.

The Scottish Football Association denied the claims that he was racially abused by the Tartan Army.

A club statement read: "The Metropolitan Police are satisfied there was no racist intent and no further action will be taken."

An SFA statement on Monday said: "The Scottish FA refutes claims from Neymar that he was the victim of racist jeers."

It said there was no evidence of it but Scotland fans had confirmed booing him "for perceived unsporting behaviour."

The SFA added: "Scotland supporters are known for impeccable behaviour."

Arsenal and the police conducted an investigation into the incident and a German teenager who was sitting in the area of the stadium where the Brazil fans were located has now admitted to the offence.

The Arsenal statement continued: "After consultation with the Metropolitan Police, Arsenal Football Club can confirm that a German teenage tourist has admitted throwing a banana onto the pitch during the Brazil v Scotland International Friendly at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

"The youngster was sitting in the North Bank of Emirates Stadium, an area of the stadium which was occupied by the official allocation of tickets to Brazil supporters, when he threw the banana on to the pitch during the second half of the match.

Sunday's Police match commander Mark Sheeran was quick to defend the Tartan Army fans and insisted there were no problems in or around the ground.

"The Scottish fans' behaviour was first class," said Sheeran. "There were no issues at all inside the stadium."

The SFA insists it will contact the Brazilian Football Federation and the match organisers, Kentaro, to inform them of Sheeran's comments and of supporters' widespread unhappiness at the accusations.

After consultation with the Metropolitan Police, Arsenal Football Club can confirm that a German teenage tourist has admitted throwing a banana onto the pitch during the Brazil v Scotland International Friendly at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Statement from Arsenal Football Club

It its statement the SFA continued: "The tens of thousands of Scotland fans who travelled to London were, in fact, commended for creating a carnival atmosphere not just inside the stadium but across the city throughout the weekend."

Brazil midfielder Lucas Leiva removed the banana in the 83rd minute from the penalty box Scotland were defending and the majority of fans at that end were Brazilian.

Commenting on the banana incident, Liverpool midfielder Lucas said: "There is no more space for racism in the world.

"They say it's the first world here in Europe, but it's where it happens the most. That has to change.

"Everybody is equal today. It's a matter of respect."

Teenager striker Neymar, who scored both goals, was jeered by some spectators after receiving treatment in the first half following a challenge by Scott Brown.

Former Scotland international Pat Nevin explained that the booing was a result of the Brazilian's playacting.

"He's one of those guys who lives in an alternative universe where the slightest brush leads to mortal pain as if it's going to kill him and then 20 seconds later it's magically got better," said Nevin, who was summarising the match for BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I was getting infuriated really early on in the game with his actions when he was doing that because he's so brilliant, and that was what I thought the Scotland fans were shouting at.

"They were furious with all the diving about, rolling about feigning injury. If there was any racist abuse in the midst of that then I would be quite surprised but also completely and utterly disgusted and horrified because that doesn't sound like the Tartan Army."

Neymar, a reported target for many leading European clubs, made it three goals in three games for Brazil in a very one-sided affair.

But a memorable day for the 19-year-old was soured by the incident involving the banana and the catcalls.

"This atmosphere of racism is totally sad," Neymar told a Brazilian TV station. "We leave our country to play here and something like this happens."

"They were jeering me a lot, even when I was about to kick the penalty the entire stadium was jeering.

"It's sad. I would rather not even talk about it, to keep the subject from escalating."

Brazil head coach Mano Menezes admitted he had not seen the incident, while Scotland manager Craig Levein added: "I don't know anything about that."

Meanwhile, Menezes believes Neymar, who has been linked with Real Madrid and Chelsea, would improve if he moved to England but would be a loss to the fans in Brazil.

"I think that could only be good for Neymar as it would be a confirmation of his development," he said.

"English football would make him stronger and help to escape strong marking.

"I don't see any problem. But Brazil fans will be deprived of watching a good player."

Menezes was diplomatic when asked if any of the Scottish players had impressed him.

"Scotland does not depend on individuals, it is a collective work," he responded.

"They had players missing like Darren Fletcher, who is important for Scotland and Manchester United, so they certainly have good individual players some of whom play in England.

"But Brazil controlled the game well so we could not see anything of their individual players."



see also
Scotland 0-2 Brazil
27 Mar 11 |  Scotland
Levein reflects on 'great week'
27 Mar 11 |  Scotland
Brazil v Scotland in pictures
27 Mar 11 |  Scotland
Scotland v Brazil as it happened
27 Mar 11 |  Scotland
Scotland v Brazil: A History
27 Mar 11 |  Scotland
Chris McLaughlin's La Manga diary
25 Mar 11 |  Scotland
Injured Pato drops out for Brazil
24 Mar 11 |  Scotland
Players pleased at Levein's trust
24 Mar 11 |  Scotland


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