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Liverpool star ready to step in for Neymar at Copa America

Coutinho will come into the team for the suspended Neymar. Credit: PA

Philippe Coutinho is ready to step in for the suspended Neymar when Brazil continue their quest for a quarter-final spot at the Copa America in Sunday's game against Venezuela.

Barcelona forward Neymar was handed a four-match ban by the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) for his role in the post-game fracas which followed Wednesday's Group C defeat against Colombia.

Brazil coach Dunga has been training with Coutinho as Neymar's replacement, and the Liverpool man is confident the Selecao can advance without their star man.

"Like the rest of my team-mates in the national squad, I am ready to occupy Ney's place in the game against Venezuela," Coutinho said.

"Neymar is a terrific player, but I am prepared - we all are. We are going to overcome his absence to go on the next stage.

"Venezuela are tactically very good and they mark in a strong way. But, in Brazil, we all have the determination to play well and look for the triumph."


Neymar given four-match ban

Neymar will miss the rest of the Copa America. Credit: PA

Brazil captain Neymar has been handed a four-match ban, ruling him out of the remainder of this year's Copa America.

The Barcelona attacker has been punished for his role in Wednesday's post-game fracas, when he was shown a straight red card for confronting Jeison Murillo and Carlos Bacca after the Group C defeat to Colombia.

Brazil, who have yet to make sure of their place in the last eight, do have the right of appeal.

Bacca has been banned for two matches and fined $5,000 for his part in the melee.

Brazil need late Costa striker to secure win

Douglas Costa scored late on. Credit: PA

Brazil came from behind to open their Copa America campaign with a win, courtesy of a last-gasp strike from Douglas Costa.

Peru took a shock lead at the Estadio Municipal Bicentenario German Becker when Christian Cueva found the back of the net after just three minutes, before Barcelona star Neymar restored parity just two minutes later.

From there it was a tale of frustration for Brazil, who had to wait until deep into second-half stoppage time for Douglas Costa to secure the 2-1 win.

Neymar got Brazil back into the game. Credit: Reuters

US Fifa investigators 'look into Nike's Brazil payment's'

The logo of Nike is seen in a storefront in Sao Paulo. Credit: Reuters

Investigators are examining a series of payments made by Nike during a 1996 football sponsorship deal with Brazil for evidence of any wrongdoing, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

The US newspaper said that allegations of corruption surrounding Nike's $160 million agreement to sponsor Brazil's national team are are discussed in barely veiled terms in the Justice Department's indictment of officials in soccer's governing body, FIFA

The indictment describes a multinational US sportswear company that struck a deal to sponsor the Brazilian federation, and then cut a side deal with a sports-marketing middleman, who allegedly used payments from the company for bribes and kickbacks, the Journal reported, adding that the people "familiar with the matter confirmed the company is Nike".


Watch France v Brazil live on ITV4

Brazil face France in Paris. Credit: PA

Matt Smith presents live coverage as France play Brazil in an international friendly at the Stade de France in Paris.

The two countries met in the 1998 World Cup Final where France ran out 3-0 victors after two goals from Zinedine Zidane and one from Emmanuel Petit.

Ex-Arsenal favourite Petit joins Matt in the studio alongside Bolton boss Neil Lennon. Coverage starts on ITV from 7:40pm.

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