Neymar pays $8,700 to referee after Twitter rift


SAO PAULO (AP) -- Neymar reportedly has paid $8,700 to a referee who was described as a "thief" on the Brazil striker's Twitter account after a Santos match in 2010.

Neymar had been sued by referee Sandro Meira Ricci after a message on the player's Twitter said the referee was a "thief" and would have to leave a match "escorted by police." Another said that "my Santos is always harmed by the refereeing."

Neymar, touted as a future Brazilian star, didn't play in the match and was watching it from TV. He said it was a friend who posted the messages.

The website said Saturday that a court ruled against Neymar two months ago, but the payments were only made now. Ricci donated the money to charities.