PSG to appeal Neymar ban after star is punished for fan confrontation

    Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar reacts after missing a shot on goal  during the French Cup final on Saturday at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, outside Paris.

    (CNN)French champion Paris Saint-Germain says it will appeal a three-match ban handed down to star striker Neymar Jr.

    The Brazilian landed himself in hot water last month after a video posted by a spectator at the Coupe de France final appeared to show him striking a fan after a brief confrontation.
    The French Football Federation (FFF) announced the sanction on Friday, with the punishment also including a two-game suspended ban.
      Unhappy with what it considers the severity of the sanction, PSG is contesting the ban with the FFF High Commission of Appeal.
      "Given the insults endured by several Paris players, including Neymar, at the end of the Coupe de France final, and the various elements submitted to the committee by Paris Saint-Germain in the player's defence, the club considers this sanction severe," said a PSG statement.
      The Parisian team lost the match against Rennes 9-8 on penalties after the game itself had finished 2-2. The encounter took place after the match, when the team was walking up the stands to collect their runners-up medals.
      In video posted on social media, the Brazilian can be seen on his way to collect his medal when he appears to have been riled by a fan. He pauses and reaches out with his hand, appearing to strike the fan briefly in the face. He then continues to walk up the stairs to the presentation ceremony.
      One video of the encounter was posted by Alex Bernardo, identified by sports media as Neymar's image consultant.
      In it he claims the fan appears to be insulting the PSG players as they walk past, calling Gianluigi Buffon a "buffoon," Marco Verratti a "racist" and telling the striker, "Neymar, learn how to play football!"
      "I'm not going to debate if this was the correct way to deal with the issue," Bernardo wrote in the comments. "These players are heated after losing a final and an idiot provokes them. Doesn't he have some blame?
      "Neymar, as always, defended his teammates."

      Tight match

      The Brazilian ace's game started well, whipping in the cross for Dani Alves' opening goal, before scoring his side's second, a sumptuous chip over Rennes keeper Tomas Koubek.
      However, PSG defender Kimpembe steered the ball into his own net, and Rennes' Edson Mexer headed in a cross to equalize at 2-2 and take the game to extra time and, eventually, penalties.