Paris Saint-Germain fans fear Neymar could miss the Champions League final after he swapped shirts with an opponent after Tuesday night’s victory against RB Leipzig.
The Brazilian superstar was seen swapping shirts with Leipzig defender Marcel Halstenberg at the full time whistle in Lisbon.
While this is a common tradition in football, UEFA currently advise against it as part of their attempts to guard against the spread of coronavirus.
European football’s governing body introduced strict ‘return to play’ protocols for the Champions League and Europa League last month to ensure the two tournaments could be completed safely.
The 31-page document outlines extensive health and safety measures including regular testing, dedicated zones for players, staff and media within the stadiums and the wearing of face masks.
Also included in the protocols was advice on shirt-swapping, which stated that “players are recommended to refrain from swapping their shirts”.
The document does not explicitly state what the punishment would for shirt-swapping, though it does say that “non-compliance with the obligations set out in the UEFA Protocol may lead to disciplinary measures in accordance with the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.”
PSG supporters fear those disciplinary measures could include a ban, which would rule Neymar out of Sunday’s showpiece final against either Bayern Munich or Lyon.
The 28-year-old may also be forced to self-isolate for 14 days to guard against the risk of possible infection, which again would see him sit out Sunday’s game.
That has understandably got fans of the French champions concerned, as they contemplate the prospect of their side being without their talismanic forward for one of the biggest matches in the club’s history.
Neymar swapping shirts at the end... swear that was one of UEFA’s rules for banned activities? I don’t want to be that guy, I really don’t but.— Nathan Salt (@NathSalt1) August 18, 2020
Ermmm Neymar has just swapped his shirt, which means an automatic one game ban? @UEFA @ChampionsLeague This doesn’t set a good example considering what is going on with COVID-19!— Tom Kent (@Kenty234) August 18, 2020
Neymar might miss the UCL Final because he swapped shirts with another player pic.twitter.com/5JRXLIgZ4e— Michał 🇵🇱 (@PreciseTrent) August 18, 2020
Is Neymar really going to miss the champions league final because he swapped shirts? 🤦🏻 anyone know the Portuguese for plonker? 🤔— Kyle Reid (@kyler14) August 18, 2020
I am going to be so mad if Neymar gets banned from the finale over a swapped shirt 😤— DrJarba (@JarbaFifa) August 18, 2020
Neymar swapped shirts at F which is against current UEFA rules, no finals for him 💀— K9 (@KelechiO_) August 18, 2020
Prior to his shirt-swapping transgression, Neymar was inspirational as PSG breezed past Leipzig 3-0. The former Barcelona forward’s clever flick teed up Angel Di Maria to score PSG’s second goal, after defender Marquinhos had headed Thomas Tuchel’s side into an early lead.
Neymar also twice hit the post as the Ligue 1 side dominated their Bundesliga opponents, before Juan Bernat sealed the victory early in the second half.