Brazil will be without captain Neymar for October’s World Cup qualifiers after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected their attempts to overturn his sanction.
The Barcelona forward was hit with a four-match ban following his red card against Colombia in June’s Copa America.
He served half of the suspension by sitting out of Brazil’s remaining matches in that tournament, against Venezuela and Paraguay.
Brazil’s quarter-final elimination to Paraguay left the 23-year-old banned from Brazil’s first two World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018, against Chile on October 8 and Venezuela on October 13.
However, lawyers from the Brazilian football federation (CBF) have argued that CONMEBOL regulations stipulate the suspension should only apply to future editions of the Copa America.
A decision was expected on Thursday but after a 24-hour delay, CBF officials were notified on Friday that they will indeed be without their captain when they kick off the long road to Russia 2018.
Neymar was originally left out of the 23-man squad this month, and was forced to look on from the bench for much of Brazil’s September Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour victories over Costa Rica and USA as the Selecao prepared to form a team without their talisman.
However, coach Dunga confirmed this week that, following the surprise withdrawal of Bayern Munich defender Rafinha, he was leaving the 23rd place in his squad open in the hope that Neymar will be allowed to make an early return.
The five-time world champions are now expected to call up a reserve right-back as cover for Monaco’s Fabinho.