Brazil football star Neymar under investigation for alleged rape in Paris

Brazil's footballer Neymar takes part in a training session of the national team at the Granja Comary sport complex in Teresopolis, Brazil, on May 25, 2019 ahead of the Copa America football tournament. (AFP / MAURO PIMENTEL)
Updated 04 June 2019

Brazil football star Neymar under investigation for alleged rape in Paris

  • The unnamed woman told Sao Paulo police that Neymar raped her at Hotel Sofitel Paris Arc Du Triomphe
  • Neymar has seen his international reputation suffer amid incidents of indiscipline

SAO PAULO/RIO DE JANEIRO: A woman has accused Brazil football player Neymar of raping her in Paris, according to a Sao Paulo police report seen by Reuters, alleging that the world-renowned sports star drunkenly assaulted her at an up-market hotel in the French capital.
The accusation was the latest blow for the Brazilian, who last month was stripped of the captaincy of the national team and has seen his international reputation suffer amid incidents of indiscipline.
Neymar’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Globo website, which first reported the news, said a representative for Neymar declined to comment, awaiting details of the allegations.
Neymar’s father, Neymar Sr., said in a local TV interview: “If public opinion is not cleared up, and if we can’t show the truth rapidly, this will snowball. If we have to show Neymar’s WhatsApps and the conversations with this girl, we will, because it is clear that it was a trap.”
He added that they were living “difficult moments.”
According to the police report, the unnamed woman told investigators in Sao Paulo that she met Neymar on Instagram and he suggested they meet in Paris, where he plays for Paris St. Germain. Neymar’s assistant sent her plane tickets and on May 15 she checked in to the Hotel Sofitel Paris Arc Du Triomphe, according to her account.
The Sofitel hotel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The woman told police that Neymar arrived at the hotel that night “apparently drunk,” and that they talked and “caressed.”
However, at some point, Neymar became aggressive and raped the victim, the police report says.
The woman told police she returned home to Brazil two days later without telling French police about the alleged rape because she was “emotionally shaken and afraid to register the facts in another country,” according to the report.
Neymar is currently in Brazil, training with the national football team ahead of this month’s Copa America. Late last month, the country’s football federation replaced him as captain for the tournament with his Paris St. Germain team mate Dani Alves.
Earlier in May, Neymar was banned for three matches by the French football authorities for hitting a fan after PSG’s French Cup final loss to Rennes, and was also reportedly involved in a dressing room fracas with his PSG team mates.
Paris St. Germain did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Mayor of town in north Japan bemoans lack of Olympic funds

Updated 15 September 2019

Mayor of town in north Japan bemoans lack of Olympic funds

  • Tokyo is reportedly spending about $20 billion to prepare the city to host the games
  • Tokyo organizers have faced a series of hurdles as they prepare to host the games

TOKYO: The mayor of a town in northeastern Japan that will host Olympic soccer games says his city has received no funding from the central government that has promised to use the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to help in the reconstruction of the region.

The Japanese government and Tokyo 2020 organizers are hoping to use the Olympics to showcase Japan’s recovery from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Several Olympic events, including soccer and baseball, will be held in northeastern Japan.

But with less than a year to go before the opening ceremony, Yutaka Kumagai, the mayor of Rifu in Miyagi Prefecture, says his city has seen no funding from the central government.

“There is no help from the government, we don’t have any budget from them, none,” Kumagai said on Saturday. “Tokyo 2020 is said to be a symbol of the reconstruction but when it comes to the budget, we don’t have any budget from the Olympic games here in Rifu.”

Kumagai made the comments during a media tour of Miyagi Stadium, a 49,000-seat facility in Rifu that will host men’s and women’s football at the 2020 Olympics.

About 50,000 people are still displaced in the Tohoku region as of August, according to the Reconstruction Agency. Yoshiaki Suda, the mayor of Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture, concurred with Kumagai. Like Rifu, Onagawa is a coastal city that sustained heavy destruction.

“We haven’t received any subsidy, even one yen, from the central government,” Suda said. “Whatever we do for the venues, for the hospitality for the Olympics, we have to do ourselves.”

Some media reports have made the claim that the Olympics have hampered the reconstruction efforts, taking workers away from the region to help with construction in Tokyo.

Japan is one of the most earthquake- and tsunami-prone areas in the world. On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 quake offshore caused a tsunami that triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The quake and tsunami heavily damaged coastal neighborhoods in northeastern Japan and took more than 18,000 lives.

Tokyo, which projected total costs of about $7.5 billion in its winning bid for the games in 2013, is reportedly spending about $20 billion to prepare the city to host the games.

A group of anti-Olympic activists, many from outside Japan, have held small protests and other events this summer under the Japanese title “Han-gorin no Kai” — which translates roughly to No Olympics. They oppose Olympic spending, which they say cuts into budgets for housing and environmental issues.

They also call for more money to rebuild Fukushima prefecture located northeast of Tokyo. Organizers say Fukushima is a main focus of the Olympics, staging baseball, softball and soccer games there to persuade the world the area is safe.

Tokyo organizers have faced a series of hurdles as they prepare to host the games. In August, Tokyo’s summer heat forced an Olympic women’s triathlon qualifying event to be shortened because of high temperatures that are likely to impact next year’s games.

Tsunekazu Takeda, the head of the Japanese Olympic Committee, was forced to quit earlier this year when he was implicated in a vote-buying scheme to land the games. He has denied wrongdoing, but acknowledged he signed off on about $2 million that French investigators allege went to buy votes.