Zuniga ‘wanted to scare Neymar, but doesn’t deserve ban’ – Jose

The Rio Report

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Jose Mourinho has backed FIFA's decision not to ban Colombia star Juan Zuniga for his back-fracturing foul on Neymar.

The governing body were under pressure to impose a sanction on Zuniga after he ensured Brazil's poster boy will miss the remainder of the World Cup, but Mourinho says that would have been unjustified, even if Zuniga was trying to scare his opponent when challenging him from behind.


"Zuniga in my opinion was a pressing situation from behind where the player is going to try to be obviously aggressive," said Yahoo's Global Football Ambassador.

"Players like Neymar, if you are not aggressive, if you don't tackle, if you don't put yourself in a situation where the player feels you are there, the player feels very, very comfortable and he can win the game for his team.

"So of course Zuniga went there for a contact; of course he went there to stop him; and maybe we can use the word, he went there to scare him.

"But he was not there with the intention to break, he was not there with the intention to hurt the way he did, so this time I agree that it makes no sense a punishment in a situation like that."

However, Mourinho did suggest that two France players deserved to have bans for their actions earlier in the tournament...

"Of course we had the Suarez situation and of course we had a red card to Alex Song," said Mourinho.

"But for me, the two most dangerous situations were Sakho against Ecuador in the corner where he had an elbow in the face of an Ecuador player, and the other one was Matuidi [against Nigeria].

"These are the two really nasty actions that it is difficult to accept the players got out of it without a punishment."

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