Brazil's Neymar accused supporters of racially abusing him at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday in an incident which overshadowed the forward's excellent display and two goals for his country against Scotland.
Neymar's team-mate Lucas Leiva removed a banana from the playing surface shortly before the end of Brazil's 2-0 victory over the Scots. Moments earlier Neymar had scored a penalty, his second goal of the match.
Brazilian media reports suggested that the item had been aimed at the 19-year-old Neymar, despite it coming at the end of the ground which was populated almost entirely by South American fans.
"I feel great and scored two but what happened with the banana is sad," he said. "I don't want to make a big deal of it. I was running down the touchline in the second half and saw it but I didn't see where it came from.
"They were jeering me a lot, even when I was about to kick the penalty. The entire stadium was jeering. This atmosphere of racism is totally sad. We leave our country to play here and something like this happens. It's sad. I'd rather not even talk about it, to keep the subject from escalating."
When asked specifically about the affair, 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."
The Brazil manager, Mano Menezes, claimed to be unaware of the banana incident. His side have played at the Emirates six times in the past five years and this is the first incident of its kind. "We didn't have the displeasure of watching that," he said. "If it happened, it is lamentable but I have not had confirmation of that event."
A spokesman for Arsenal said the club were aware of the banana appearing on the pitch but that they were awaiting further reports before deciding what action, if any, to take.
Last week the Brazilian player Roberto Carlos was furious after a supporter threw a banana at him during a club game in Russia.
Although Neymar did not point the finger specifically at Scottish fans, the Tartan Army's spokesman Hamish Husband defended the record of that group and denied any suggestion of wrongdoing.
"Neymar was booed during the game because we felt he was feigning injury," said Husband. "Racism has no place within the Tartan Army and, if it did exist, it would be stamped out immediately. Any suggestion of racism from Scottish fans is absolute tosh. We would not tolerate that it if existed within our ranks."
Craig Levein, the Scotland manager, added: "I don't know anything about it."A spokesperson for the Scottish Football Association said: "There has been no such incident reported to the police or the stadium safety officer. In fact, the tens of thousands of Scotland supporters who travelled to the Emirates were commended for their behaviour.
"The Scotland supporters are known the world over for their impeccable behaviour and we have no reason to believe that, after speaking to the relevant authorities, they have been anything other than exemplary.
"The Scotland fans helped create a wonderful spectacle inside the Emirates and throughout London and should be applauded for their support."
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010