The fall-out from Sunday's friendly between Brazil and Scotland has continued with the Scottish Football Association demanding an apology from its Brazilian counterpart over allegations of racism made by Neymar.
The 19-year-old Brazil striker wrongly believed he had been jeered by Scottish fans at the Emirates Stadium on account of the colour of his skin, a belief that seemed to be endorsed when a banana was thrown on to the field as he celebrated the second of his two goals in a 2-0 win. But a subsequent investigation proved that the banana had been thrown by a German tourist and there had been no racist intent behind the action. The boos the Scottish supporters aimed at Neymar were clearly prompted by a perception that he was feigning injury.
The SFA is worried that the reputation of Scottish fans has been damaged. Its chief executive, Stewart Regan, has written to the CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation) to seek a public admission that Neymar's comments were made in error. The SFA said it had been "dismayed" by Neymar's comments, which "were flashed around the world".
Regan said: "It is very disappointing that this episode threatened to overshadow an entertaining match, played amidst a real carnival atmosphere created by supporters of both teams. Scotland and Brazil have played many times over the years, each time in a colourful and friendly environment, and we feel that it is necessary to draw a line under Sunday's events.
"Scotland's supporters were genuinely upset and annoyed that the unfounded allegations levelled against them threatened to sully their reputation as fair, good- humoured and respectful spectators. As the matter has been resolved, and Scotland supporters cleared of any involvement, we felt it was only right that we acted on behalf of our supporters to request an apology either from the player involved or the Brazilian FA."
The Rangers chairman, Alastair Johnston, met the club's potential new owner, Craig Whyte, in Glasgow on Thursdayyesterday. Johnston, who has flown to Scotland from his home in the United States, will oversee the publication of Rangers' interim financial results on Friday. Before that the chairman held his latest round of talks with Whyte and the rest of the Rangers board. The path is clear for Whyte to make a formal offer to purchase David Murray's 85% stake in the club after agreement was reached with the Lloyds Banking Group over the buy-out of debt. Until that proposal is forthcoming, however, an element of scepticism remains.
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