COVID-19: Neymar denies flouting social distancing protocols

Rio de Janeiro, March 30 (IANS) Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) forward Neymar has denied suggestions that he ignored social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus outbreak by playing footvolley with friends at his mansion near Rio de Janeiro.

The Brazilian drew criticism from several media outlets after posting photos online in which he poses with the group at the property in Mangaratiba, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The photos show Neymar Jr. alongside other people who are quarantined with him, people who travelled together from Paris to Brazil,” the 28-year-old’s management group said in a statement to the media.

“Neymar Jr. offered his home so that everyone could spend the first 14 days there before meeting their respective families. The house meets quarantine rules and is completely isolated, allowing peace and serenity for him to continue training and take care of his loved ones at this time of world pain and confinement.”

Neymar was given permission by Paris Saint-Germain to return to his homeland last week because of the coronavirus outbreak, which has prompted the suspension of all European football.

Though Brazil has not implemented a mandatory lockdown, Rio de Janeiro’s state government has urged people to avoid social contact, in line with World Health Organization recommendations.

“There are no visits or business meetings at the house, not least because the condominium itself only allows access to residents,” the statement continued.

“The exception for visits was his son, Davi Lucca, who came to stay with his father. David, his mother, stepfather and brother were in Paris days before to visit him. Neymar Jr. is keeping his distance from other family members, such as his mother, sister and grandmother, for example, because he understands that this is a moment that requires effort for the common good.”


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