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FIFA could act on Neymar injury

AFP
Colombia's Juan Zuniga (left) challenges Brazil's Neymar during the World Cup quarter-final match at the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza, on July 4, 2014
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Colombia's Juan Zuniga (left) challenges Brazil's Neymar during the World Cup quarter-final match at the Castelao Stadium in Fortaleza, on July 4, 2014 (AFP Photo/Odd Andersen)

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - FIFA could take action against Colombia's Juan Zuniga for the World Cup quarter final challenge that left Brazilian superstar Neymar with a fractured vertebrae, a spokeswoman said Saturday.

"The FIFA Disciplinary Committee is analysing all the elements provided, the videos and the match reports, and will decide whether or not to take action," FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer told a briefing.

Neymar was injured in Brazil's 2-1 win over Colombia on Friday when Zuniga kneed him in the back. The Barcelona forward will miss the rest of the World Cup.

Zuniga, who plays for Napoli in Italy, has denied he intentionally sought to hurt the 22-year-old Brazilian.

"When I'm on the field I always do what I have to, to defend my country and the shirt I wear, but always without intent to injure anybody," Zuniga told Brazilian television after the game.

"This was a game that everyone wanted to win so it was hot."

The Colombian said both sides were playing to their limits.

"They (the Brazilians) were also playing physically," Zuniga stated.

Former World Cup winners Ronaldo of Brazil and Italy's Fabio Cannavaro appeared at the daily FIFA briefing where the Neymar injury dominated debate.

"The injury was very violent," said Ronaldo. "I believe there was an intention to hurt by the player. I believe it was very aggressive and very violent."

Cannavaro agreed.

"I believe that it was a situation which could have been avoided," he said.

"I didn’t like that very high knee. That leads me to believe it was a foul with a prior intention to cause harm. It didn’t give me a very good impression. It’s a very evident foul," the Italian added.

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