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Sport

Neymar to hold New Year party for 150 people

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Group H - Paris St Germain v Istanbul Basaksehir F.K. - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - December 9, 2020 Paris St Germain's Neymar REUTERS/Charles Platiau

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A New Year party for 150 people thrown by Brazilian footballer Neymar will be subject to strict health rules to try to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, organisers said.

The Paris St Germain forward has come under heavy criticism since details of the event were revealed in a Rio de Janeiro newspaper over the weekend.

But the agency organising the party said reports that 500 friends and celebrities were due to attend were not true and that only 150 people would be at the multi-day celebration in Mangaratiba, around 105km down the coast from Rio.

“The event will take place in compliance with all the sanitary norms as determined by public bodies,” the Fabrica agency said in a statement.

The event is private and all relevant permissions have been obtained, it added.

Local authorities at Mangaratiba were unavailable for comment. Neymar’s press office did not immediately respond to text messages.

Brazil has had nearly 7.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, the third highest in the world, and 191,139 deaths, the second highest after the United States, according to health ministry figures.

Reporting by Andrew Downie; additional reporting by Jamie McGeever; writing by Andrew Downie, editing by Ed Osmond

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