The former Brazil international Romário, now a senator in his homeland, has blamed Neymar’s recent four-match ban on the reluctance of the president of the Brazilian Football Association (CBF), Marco Polo Del Nero, to leave the country for fear of arrest.

The player’s punishment means that he will miss out on some of his country’s World Cup qualifiers.

Romário blamed Del Nero for failing to attend the Copa América in Chile, which meant he was unable to personally defend Neymar against the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL).

He believes that the reason is because the president won’t travel abroad because he’s fearful of being arrested for his possible involvement in the Fifa corruption case.

“He doesn’t travel abroad because he’s scared of getting arrested for his possible involvement in the FIFA scandal,” said the 1994 World Cup winner.

Since the FIFA corruption scandal hit the headlines, leading to the arrest of the former CBF president José Maria Marin, Del Nero has not left the country. After missing the last two Fifa gatherings, there have been calls for him to relinquish his place on the Fifa exco.

Neymar was handed a four-match ban after the Copa América group-stage game against Colombia for a scuffle with the opposing players and insulting the referee after the final whistle.

The CBF will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) this week in a bid to reduce the ban so that Neymar is eligible to play in Brazil’s forthcoming Russia 2018 qualifiers against Chile and Venezuela.