Brazil head coach Tite says the high number of fouls on Neymar “has to be stopped” after the forward was injured in their group-stage win over Serbia.
Neymar appeared to be in tears on the bench after being substituted in the 80th minute with a sprained ankle.
The 30-year-old was on the receiving end of a heavy tackle from Nikola Milenkovic in the 2-0 win on Thursday.
“If you want to celebrate the football, you have to pay attention to the fouls,” said Tite.
“They focus on specific players. This is the effect. This has to be stopped.”
Since his first World Cup in 2014, Neymar has been fouled 53 times in the competition, at least 11 more than any other player.
He was fouled nine times against Serbia, more than any other player in their opening match in Qatar.
Neymar will not play in Brazil’s remaining group stages matches, but Tite said he remained confident the Paris St-Germain forward would feature again at the World Cup.
“I believe Neymar and [injured defender] Danilo will play in the World Cup. I’m not in a position to speak about [medical information],” said Tite.
“I can say that, not only about Neymar, but also about Danilo, both of their situations have evolved, but we believe both will be available to play at the World Cup.” (BBC)