Rio de Janeiro: A Brazilian police document says an unidentified woman has accused soccer star Neymar of raping her in Paris last month. After the revelation, the player used Instagram to publish a 7-minute video that includes WhatsApp messages he says he exchanged with the accuser in a friendly way days later. Neymar calls the incident “a setup” and insists it is an attempt of extortion against him. The document obtained by The Associated Press on Saturday says the incident took place May 15 at 8:20 p.m. in a hotel. The woman went to police Friday in Sao Paulo. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach Arun Sao Paulo state’s Public Security Secretariat, which oversees police, confirmed in a statement that the complaint was registered, but did not offer details. Once more involved in an incident off the pitch, Neymar said he fell in a trap and will learn from the incident. “There was a relationship between a man and a woman between four walls. On the next day nothing happened,” the striker said. “I hope investigators read the messages and see what happened.” Also Read – Bastian Schweinsteiger announces retirement, could join Germany set-up The first messages in Neymar’s video are dated March 11. The video includes multiple erotic photos and messages he said he exchanged with the accuser. The last date that appears on the video is of May 16, with no reference to the alleged crime. Earlier his father and agent, Neymar da Silva Santos, said his son had consensual sexual relations with the accuser and was blackmailed by her lawyer after they broke up. “This is a tough moment. If we can’t show the truth quickly it will be a snowball. If we have to show Neymar’s WhatsApp messages and the conversations with this lady, we will,” Santos told TV Band. Neymar’s father said he has evidence that his son was blackmailed, including pictures and witnesses, but did not show either in the interview. He also said his son is already preparing his defense for a legal case if needed. The Paris police and the city’s prosecutors’ office said through spokesmen that they were unaware of any complaint. The woman says she and the Brazil star met in France after exchanging Instagram messages. She told police a representative of the Paris Saint-Germain player named Gallo allegedly bought her tickets to Paris and booked her a hotel room. She said Neymar arrived apparently drunk at the hotel. The woman described to police that they “touched each other, but in a given moment Neymar became aggressive and, with violence, had sexual intercourse against the victim’s will.” The text also says the woman left Paris two days later and said she did not file her complaint in Paris because she was shaken. The police document says the woman will go through medical exams as part of an investigation. Neymar is in Brazil preparing for the Copa America starting next week. He arrived at the Granja Comary training ground outside Rio de Janeiro 10 days after the alleged incident. Brazil players had a day off Saturday. Neymar left the training ground with other teammates in his helicopter earlier in the day. On Sunday, an event named after the player is expected to take place in Rio, but his presence is not assured. The 27-year-old Brazilian has had problems on and off the pitch. One week before the accusation of rape became known, he lost Brazil’s national team’s captaincy for the Copa America to veteran Dani Alves. Coach Tite did not lay out the reasons for the move, but he was under pressure to punish Neymar for his disciplinary problems at Paris Saint-Germain. After PSG lost the French Cup final to tiny Rennes on April 27, Neymar had altercation with a fan and publicly criticized teammates he didn’t name for not listening to him enough. That was one of his first matches since January, when he once more picked up a fifth metatarsal injury in his right-foot. That was the same problem that affected his performances in the last World Cup, a tournament he prefers to forget because of an image disaster caused by his constant diving. Brazil’s fitness coaches say he will be in better shape once the South American tournament begins. This week Neymar skipped two Brazil training sessions in Copa America preparations because of pains in his left knee. Brazil’s soccer confederation said Friday he was fully recovered. Fan love for the player has also been stained because of politics after his showing of support to far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has made a series of racist, misogynistic and anti-gay statements. As Neymar prepared for his return after the injury, Brazilian media reported his father had met Bolsonaro and Economy Minister Paulo Guedes to discuss the player’s tax problems, which didn’t help him with fans that will pressure him more than ever to win a Copa America on home soil later this month.
MONTREAL — European railway manufacturers Siemens Mobility and Alstom announced a merger Tuesday that leaves Montreal-based Bombardier Transportation facing a new “European champion” and a substantially larger rival.The memorandum of understanding announced Tuesday is described as a merger of equals with each owning half the shares of the new company to be headquartered in Paris. The Mobility Solutions business will be run out of Berlin.The combined company to be called Siemens Alstom will have US$18 billion in revenues — about double that of Bombardier Transportation — and US$1.4 billion in adjusted EBIT. Annual cost savings of US$554.2 million are expected four years after closing.The new European company with 62,300 employees in more than 60 countries will have an order backlog of US$72 billion and an adjusted margin of eight per cent.“We put the European idea to work and together with our friends at Alstom, we are creating a new European champion in the rail industry for the long-term,” Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser said in a news release.He added that the global market has changed with the creation of a dominant competitor in China and digitalization.Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) didn’t immediately respond to the merger of its rivals. It is also believed to have talked to Siemens.Mergers in China and Europe leave Bombardier “still looking for a dance partner,” said David Tyerman of Cormark Securities.“They lost out this time but there’s presumably going to be more consolidation,” he said, noting competitors of varying sizes remain around the world.Bombardier’s shares closed up more than six per cent to C$2.27 in Tuesday trading even though the transportation giant was expected to face bad news affecting both its commercial aircraft and railway businesses.The shares surged more than 13 per cent after a report out of China said Bombardier is close to signing orders for commercial aircraft.Walter Spracklin of RBC Capital Markets said he expects Bombardier will remain a key player in a growing transit market.“An overall modernization of infrastructure in developed countries, and a rapid urbanization coupled with environmental concerns in developing countries will prop up rail demand for decades to come in our view,” he wrote in a report.Analyst Cameron Doerksen of National Bank Financial said Bombardier Transportation can still succeed as a standalone company.Bombardier Transportation would be the world’s third-largest railway company with a strong presence in France, Germany and Britain. It has a four-year backlog of orders and is moving towards an eight per cent EBIT margin.Under a proposed merger with Siemens, Bombardier would have reportedly ceded control of signalling and maintained only marginal control over a separate rolling stock joint venture.“Given the cyclicality of Bombardier’s Aerospace operations, in our view, it was important that Bombardier maintained control of Bombardier Transportation,” he wrote in a note before the Siemens-Alstom merger was announced.The industry is undergoing consolidation to compete with the state-backed rival Chinese railway manufacturer CRRC that is growing its global reach.Doerksen added that the near-to-medium-term threat from the state-owned CRRC Chinese railway is exaggerated since only about 8.5 per cent of its revenues last year were outside of China and it has little presence in Western Europe.China’s cost advantage may also be limited since most buyers require significant local content, forcing CRRC to build new manufacturing facilities in major markets.