Party at Neymar’s mansion under the spotlight
Brazil's star footballer Neymar is at the centre of a storm after local media reported that he is organising a huge New Year's Eve party despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward has come under heavy criticism since details of the event were revealed last weekend.
Newspaper O Globo reported that Neymar is hosting 500 people at his luxury beachside mansion in Mangaratiba, around 105km from Rio de Janeiro, adding that the party started last Saturday and will last until New Year's Day.
The Metropoles website even named the artists due to perform at the party, such as Ludmilla and Wesley Safadao.
Guests' mobile phones are allegedly due to be confiscated at the door to prevent any evidence finding its way onto social media.
Representatives for Neymar denied the reports, releasing a statement saying there would be "no party" in Neymar's villa, but CNN Brasil confirmed the event was taking place with one of the samba groups hired to perform.
Events agency Agencia Fabrica confirmed it had been contracted for a New Year's event in the Costa Verde region where Neymar's villa is located "that will host around 150 people... while respecting all the health rules by the public bodies".
The local town hall has urged its 41,000 inhabitants not to hold year-end parties. Brazil has had nearly 7.5 million cases of Covid-19, the third highest in the world, and 191,139 deaths, the second highest after the United States. - REUTERS, AFP