Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 10:12
Zuniga escapes punishment over Neymar tackle, Silva ban upheld
By Xinhua

Zuniga escapes punishment over Neymar tackle, Silva ban upheld
Brazil's Neymar is fouled by Colombia's Juan Zuniga during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Brazil and Colombia at the Arena Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil on Friday. (AP) 

BELO HORIZONTE - Colombia defender Juan Camilo Zuniga has escaped punishment for a tackle that forced Neymar out of the World Cup with a fractured vertebra.

In a statement released on Monday, the world football governing body FIFA said it had decided against disciplinary action over the incident during Brazil's 2-1 win over Colombia in Fortaleza.

"In this specific case no retrospective action can be taken by the FIFA disciplinary committee, since the incident involving the Colombian player Juan Camilo Zuniga Mosquera did not escape the match officials," the statement said.

FIFA also rejected an appeal by Brazil's football confederation against a yellow card issued to their captain Thiago Silva during the same match.

The caution, which rules Silva out of Brazil's semifinal against Germany in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday, came after the defender ran into goalkeeper David Ospina as he was taking a kick.

At a press conference in Belo Horizonte on Monday, Silva denied having set out to block Ospina.

And the 29-year-old questioned Zuniga's intentions in striking Neymar with a knee to the back.

"I know how to tackle players and that was not normal for me," Silva said. "There is no way you can knee someone in the back unless you want to hurt them as far as I'm concerned."

Zuniga, who did not receive a caution over the incident, has denied any malice towards Neymar.