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Zuniga offered security after threats received following Neymar foul

Jul 9, 2014, 10:35 PM EDT

Brazil v Colombia: Quarter Final - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Getty Images

Juan Camilo Zuniga has been offered security from the Colombian Football Federation following threats he has received for the foul that resulted in Neymar’s broken vertebrae.

Despite Zuniga’s challenge on the Brazilian star lacking intent, FIFA ruling that he would not be retrospectively punished for the clash, and the 28-year-old Colombian’s sending well-wishes to Neymar for a speedy recovery, it seems some fans are not satisfied and have taken to social media to attack Zuniga.

This behavior, along with select current and ex-players for Brazil calling the tackle “cowardly” and “evil”, has prompted the Colombian Football Federation to issue a media statement condemning the behavior.

From Reuters:

“The Colombian Football Federation rejects all threats and insults against the player Camilo Zuniga and his family,” the national body said in a statement.
“It reiterates it will continue taking all actions with the appropriate security and government organs to give the necessary guarantees to the player, for both his time in Colombia and his permanent residency in Italy.”
Zuniga’s club, Serie A side Napoli, have also expressed solidarity with the player saying he does not deserve the “ferocious criticism” he has received for an “unfortunate … but not malicious” incident.
Zuniga is currently on holiday in Colombia and is due to return to Italy in days.

  1. kicksave1980 - Jul 10, 2014 at 1:33 AM

    It’s sports. Unfortunate injuries happen, and it’s a shame that he’s having to deal with these threats from a few idiots. Neymar will be fine, and even a healthy Neymar playing against Germany would have done nothing to stop that beating. I understand the passion for national teams and the World Cup, but hopefully this all blows over soon.

  2. unclemosesgreen - Jul 10, 2014 at 7:40 AM

    Zuniga’s foul was nothing more than chickens coming home to roost for Brazil after they set up a conga line of thuggery for James Rodriguez all match long. Big Phil alone bears the responsibility for what happened to Neymar.

    This Brazil team played with no joy or verve. They were cynical, violent and stupid. They disgraced the jogo bonito and thoroughly deserved their Semifinal humiliation.

    Brazil shouldn’t play like Stoke City, OK???

    • lyleoross - Jul 10, 2014 at 2:50 PM

      I’m gonna slightly disagree with you, it isn’t just Brazil, this style of play is coddled by the system. The number of cynical body slams that happen in the sport is pretty wide, and no country, league, or club has the market on it. Yes, it is noticeable with Brazil, but that is because their reputation is counter to that style of play. Look at what Ghana did to the US, it was just as physical and hard hitting.

      Until such a time as FIFA decides that a hit with no intention of playing the ball deserves a card, as per the rules, these style of hits will continue. I will concede up front that managing such hits, and keeping a flowing game is going to be difficult, but it does seem that it could be better managed.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:09 PM

        All I’m saying is that Zuniga watched his star player get whacked all game, and as you mention, virtually without sanction. Small wonder that he would then make such a challenge.

      • lyleoross - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        I’m not disagreeing with you in that way, and I think your comment is poignant. By allowing James to be thumped, you set up a retaliation situation. What I’m saying is that we need to remember it isn’t just Brazil, we just notice it more with them because who they are.

    • granadafan - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      Uncle, so you’re saying the foul was revenge for what happened to his teammate? That sounds like intent.

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