A Sao Paulo court ordered Brazil's 19-year-old superstar Neymar to pay $8,000 in damages for branding a referee a "thief" on his Twitter account.
"It was never my intention to offend the referee," the Santos forward wrote on his personal website.
His lawyer claimed Neymar's friend who had access to the acoount, not Neymar, was the author of the message criticizing referee Sandro Meira Ricci that appeared on his Twitter account after Santos' 4-2 defeat against Victoria in August 2010. Neymar said he deleted the message "immediately" after being informed of its existence.
The judge decided that he should "pay for this oversight" and advised him to make sure "people cannot use his name for illicit means."