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COVID-19: Neymar denies plans to host New Year’s Eve party for 150 people



PSG star Neymar has denied reports that he is set to host a New Year’s Eve party for approximately 150 people in Brazil.

It had been claimed that the 28-year-old was putting together a celebration at his mansion in Mangaratiba that will last five days, despite the Covid-19 pandemic which has claimed over 190,000 lives in Brazil.

However, a statement released by his lawyers says he has nothing to do with the party, which is being organised by company Agencia Fabrica.

“It’s a Fabrica event. It has no connection with Neymar,” read the statement. “He will be with his family, with his son and his physiotherapist [on New Year’s Eve]”.

On Monday, Agencia Fabrica insisted the event will adhere to strict health and safety measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

A statement from the party organisers read: “Agencia Fabrica clarifies that it is the creator and producer of New Year’s Eve event in the Costa Verde region, in the State of Rio de Janeiro, which will receive approximately 150 people.

“The event will take place in compliance with all health standards determined by public agencies. The company also clarifies that the private event, with exclusive access for guests and without ticket sales, happens with all licenses from the competent bodies necessary for its realisation.”

Brazil has been hit hard by the pandemic, with only the United States suffering more deaths than the South American nation, while there have been over 7 million confirmed cases – the third highest tally in the world.

President Jair Bolsonaro has been dismissive of the severity of the virus, despite having tested positive for it several times. The right-wing leader is also sceptical about the vaccine that has been developed by Pfizer-BioNTech.

He said this month: “In the Pfizer contract it’s very clear: ‘We’re not responsible for any side effects.’ If you turn into a crocodile, it’s your problem.

“If you become superhuman, if a woman starts to grow a beard or if a man starts to speak with an effeminate voice, they [the vaccine manufacturers] will not have anything to do with it.”

Neymar has scored nine goals and registered three assists in 12 appearances this season for PSG. The former Barcelona star has been injured since mid-December and is expected to be fit to feature for the Ligue 1 giants in early 2021, with their first game of the year scheduled for January 6.

Currently without a head coach but edging closer to signing former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, PSG will face Saint-Etienne and host Brest at Parc des Princes three days later.

Les Parisiens are third in the French top-flight, a point behind Lyon and Lille after 17 matches.