World soccer federation FIFA is studying whether Colombia defender Juan Camilo Zuñiga should be punished for a foul during the quarter final against Brazil that ended the tournament for Brazilian star striker Neymar.
Towards the end of the game in which Colombia lost 2-1 and was eliminated from the World Cup, the Colombian defender jumped Neymar from behind, planting a knee in the striker’s lower back.
Brazil’s star player was subsequently taken to hospital for treatment on a fractured vertebra in his lower back. Attending medic Rodrigo Lasmar told reporters the injury would not require surgery, but would take three to four weeks to heal, effectively ending the World Cup for Neymar.
The FIFA’s disciplinary committee subsequently announced to investigate Zuñiga, who could be banned from international soccer for months.
“The disciplinary committee is analyzing the matter. The spirit of fair play is very important and we want to avoid difficult things on the field of play,” FIFA’s head of media, Delia Fischer, told reporters.
According to Zuñiga, the polemic foul was made without the intention of injuring his opponent.
“It was a normal move, I never meant to hurt a player. I was on the field, playing for the shirt from my country, not intending to injure anyone. I was just defending my shirt,” said the defender after the match.
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