Football

Neymar could miss Champions League final for swopping jerseys

Neymar is in danger of missing the Champions League final on Monday morning (Singapore time) after he breached Uefa's coronavirus protocol by swopping jerseys.

After Paris Saint-Germain's 3-0 semi-final win over RB Leipzig at the Estadio da Luz yesterday morning - thanks to goals from Marquinhos, Angel di Maria and Juan Bernat - the Brazilian forward exchanged jerseys with Leipzig defender Marcel Halstenberg.

European governing body Uefa's "Return to play protocol", which was released earlier this month notes that: "Players are recommended to refrain from swapping their shirts."

It added that failure to adhere to this "may lead to disciplinary measures in accordance with the Uefa Disciplinary Regulations."

In addition, reports ahead of the return of the Champions League from its coronavirus-enforced hiatus this month also highlighted jersey-swopping.

Uefa's medical protocols for the mini-tournament in Lisbon made clear that players are banned from exchanging jerseys, with non-compliance resulting in up to 12 days of self-isolation.

RULED OUT?

That could potentially rule Neymar out of the showpiece should he be sanctioned by Uefa.

The 28-year-old has been influential in PSG reaching their maiden Champions League final.

Teammate Kylian Mbappe believes Neymar "is destined" to win the Ballon d'Or. He said: "It is a pleasure to play with a player like Neymar.

"He's one of the best players in the world and he proved it today. Maybe he hasn't scored a goal but he assisted, which is very important too, as (Angel) di Maria benefited from it.

"I believe the Ballon d'Or is not decided yet, but I'm sure that if we win the Champions League, of course he's going to be in position to win the trophy.

"I think he is destined to win those type of trophies. I hope he wins the trophy because that would mean that we have won the Champions League."

There will be no Ballon d'Or winner this year with organisers France Football blaming the unprecedented decision on the Covid-19 pandemic, which disrupted the football calendar.

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