FC Barcelona

Neymar advisers accuse Chinese travel agency in ticket row over Shanghai fan event

Barcelona star’s camp say online travel company Ctrip never had authorisation to sell tickets to fans for luxury Shanghai hotel meet-and-greet

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 July, 2017, 3:36pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 July, 2017, 3:36pm

Neymar is known for box office entertainment on the football pitch but the Barcelona superstar’s life off the pitch is proving to be just as exciting.

As if a training ground bust-up with a Barca teammate amid speculation he is a seeking a 220 million (HK$2.019 billion) move to Paris Saint-Germain wasn't enough drama, the Brazilian’s camp have now called out a Chinese travel agency.

Ctrip, China’s biggest online travel company, claimed they had to cancel a supposed meet-and-greet with Neymar at a luxury Shanghai hotel next week because the player and his advisers “are busy with transfer issues” and “failed to secure their presence”.

But a statement issued by Neymar’s advisers said: “We communicate that the Chinese agency is selling tickets to fans, without the knowledge and approval of those who represent Neymar Jr., who would never do something like this.

“After this notification, the agency cancelled the meeting. We confirm, again, that there was never an agreement about a meeting with the fans, much less an authorisation to sell tickets.

“Neymar Jr. never would participate in an event that sells tickets to fans.”

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Ctrip said on their Weibo account they would give full refunds for fans who had spent money on tickets for the advertised event, and will offer their customers “adequate compensation”.

While Ctrip may be getting the cold shoulder, Neymar managed to turn up for a promotional event with sponsors Nike at a flagship store on Friday in Miami, where Barcelona face Real Madrid on Sunday morning (Hong Kong time) as part of their pre-season tour of the US.

This came despite the 25-year-old being involved in a fiery clash with defender Nelson Semedo during a training session earlier that day, with teammates having to hold the pair back after they squared up to each other.

Neymar will still embark on a planned promotional tour to China after the Madrid match, according to his camp’s statement, to fulfil other personal and club sponsorship agreements with Barcelona.