Brazil’s 2-0 friendly victory on Wednesday against Asian champions Qatar in Brasilia came at a high price after the team lost Neymar to the Copa America this month due to an ankle ligament injury.
In a declaration early Thursday, the Brazilian Football Confederation said Neymar had a ligament break in his ankle and would not be able to recover in time to play the South American tournament.
“After suffering a sprain in his right ankle during Wednesday’s game against Qatar, Neymar was evaluated and subjected to complementary imaging tests that confirmed ligament rupture in the ankle,” the statement said.
“Due to the seriousness of the injury, Neymar will not recover in time to participate in Copa America in Brazil.”
Brazil coach Tite will have to call a substitute for the 27-year-old until June 13. The Canarinha take on Honduras in their final warm-up match on Sunday before beginning Copa America on June 14 against Bolivia. In Group A, Brazil, the host of the tournament, also faces Peru and Venezuela.
Before the game was over, Neymar left the Mane Garrincha stadium on crutches. He was followed by his dad and head of the Confederation of Brazil, Edu Gaspar. The friendly was Neymar’s first significant public appearance since a female charged him with rape on May 15 at a Paris hotel.
Najila Trindade Mendes de Souza said she had agreed to have sex with Neymar on Brazilian TV outlet SBT, but when she told him they couldn’t because he had no condom, he “turned aggressive.”
Neymar, who said he had two encounters in France with Mendes de Souza, rejected any wrongdoing.
Copa America’s co-sponsor Mastercard released a statement to ESPN Brazil on Thursday stating they will put a Copa America ad campaign featuring brand ambassador Neymar on hold “until the matter is resolved”.