Brazil deprived of Neymar’s services for two World Cup qualifiers

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Brazil will be without captain Neymar when they start their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The 23-year-old Barcelona forward, who has scored 46 goals for his country, was given a four-match ban at the Copa America in June.

Brazil played two further matches in the tournament without their talisman, meaning he was also due to miss the forthcoming matches against Chile and Venezuela.

The Brazilian Football Confederation appealed against Neymar’s punishment last month – but the Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed it and confirmed he must sit out the qualifiers, on October 8 and 13 respectively.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said: “We have today dismissed the urgent appeal filed by the Brazilian Football Confederation against FIFA and CONMEBOL in relation to the four-match suspension handed down to Neymar Jr during the 2015 Copa America.

“CONMEBOL, after consulting FIFA, informed its members that bans which were still not served should be served during the next official competition organised by FIFA – i.e. Brazil’s qualifying matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

“Neymar Jr would therefore have to serve his last two-match bans for the games.

“The full award with grounds will be published at a later stage.”

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