Colombia’s Juan Zuniga will not face disciplinary action for the challenge which led to Brazilian striker Neymar’s exit from the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The FC Barcelona and Brazil striker broke a vertebra in his spine during his side’s 2-1 quarter-final victory on Friday, following a challenge from defender Zuniga.
A FIFA statement on Monday however said there could be no disciplinary action because the incident was spotted and dealt with by referee Velasco Carballo on the pitch.
FIFA said in a statement: “First and foremost, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee wishes to state that it deeply regrets the incident and the serious consequences on Neymar’s health.
“After an analysis of the matter and the extensive submission and documentation received from the CBF, the committee came to the conclusion that it cannot consider this matter.
“This is in light of the conditions outlined in the FIFA Disciplinary Code for the Disciplinary Committee to be able to intervene in such a situation.
“In particular, in this specific case, no retrospective action can be taken by the committee, since the incident involving Zuniga did not escape the match officials’ attention.
“This is the first of two cumulative and necessary conditions for article 77 a) of the FDC to be applied.
“Meanwhile article 77 b) of the FDC, which entitles the committee to rectify obvious errors in the referee’s disciplinary decisions, equally cannot be applied in this case because neither a yellow card nor a red card was shown by the referee to the player.
“Indeed, article 77 b) of the FDC stipulates that the committee may rectify obvious errors in the referee’s disciplinary decisions, which is only possible in the case of mistaken identity when a referee shows a yellow or red card to the wrong player.
“It is important to note that the conditions by which the FIFA Disciplinary Committee can intervene in any incident have to be considered independently of the consequences of that incident, such as an unfortunate injury suffered by a player.
“Finally, as a general remark, FIFA and the committee regret any incidents occurring on the pitch which in particular have a negative impact on the health of players.
“We wish Neymar a prompt and complete recovery as we wish the same for all players who have sadly been ruled out of the World Cup through injury.”
FIFA also announced it was not going to overturn the yellow card shown to Brazil’s captain Thiago Silva during the same game.
It said there was no legal basis entitling it to grant such request, meaning that defender Silva will thus miss Tuesday’s semi-final against Germany.
The 29-year-old Silva was booked in the match for blocking Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina’s attempt to take a kick.
It was his second yellow card of the tournament, meaning he is automatically suspended for one match.
The Brazilian Football Confederation had wanted the second caution rescinded for the defender who scored the opening goal as Brazil won 2-1 to progress to the last four.
Willian is now expected to replace Neymar, although the Chelsea attacker did give Brazil a scare when he suffered a back injury in training at the weekend.
“I was hurt on my left side,” the former Shakhtar Donetsk player said. “It bothers me a bit but it is not significant. I am available to play.”