Brazil coach Tite has slammed the “haters” who he claims have been spreading “evil lies” and “fake news” about Gabriel Jesus’ injury. Arsenal forward Jesus, along with Sevilla defender Alex Telles, will miss the rest of the World Cup after sustaining a knee injury in Friday’s defeat to Cameroon.
Reports from Brazil are now claiming the 25-year-old, who has been crucial to Arsenal’s form this season, could be out for up to three months. There have also been rumours that Jesus initially suffered a problem before playing in the Cameroon game, but Tite strongly denied these claims in a venomous rebuttal in his press conference ahead of Monday’s Last 16 tie with South Korea.
“I don’t like hearing lies, evil lies, those [come from] the people who want to do bad things for others,” Tite said. “At no time whatsoever do we play for victory at the risk of a player’s health, so the liars that are out there, the haters, who keep dishing out hate, go and do something else and stop giving fake news. Arsenal have a great medical department, we have a great medical department. We are responsible, ethical. It’s a shame, very sorry for Gabriel. [On Saturday] we had Neymar, Thiago [Silva] and Marquinhos chatting with him and then Telles. We then added [assistant coach] César [Sampaio] who has also had this experience. It was not to take the pain away but just to make them feel better, strengthen them and for them to be able to participate as much as possible.”
Sampaio, who featured at the 1998 World Cup for Brazil, added: “At no moment were we made aware of an injury. We will never put health at risk for a result. Injury is difficult in an athlete’s career, regardless of when it happens. We feel fragile when we cannot do what we love, especially at a World Cup. We spent time giving them support, we do not know what we have ahead of us but regardless of not being with us physically, they are with this team.”
Neymar and Danilo given the all-clear
On the positive side for Brazil, Neymar will be fit to feature against South Korea should he come through Sunday’s training session without any issues, while Danilo is also available.