Brazil manager Tite has labelled rumours that Gabriel Jesus was injured before playing against Cameroon as 'fake news'.
Jesus was part of a heavily rotated Brazil team which lost 1-0 to Cameroon on Friday evening, ending their run of 17 consecutive group stage wins at World Cups - a run which stretched back to 1998.
The Arsenal star came off injured in the 64th minute of the defeat, and said injury is now set to keep Jesus out of action for the remainder of the World Cup and possibly three months of action for his club side.
Speaking about rumours that Brazil had played Jesus despite his complaints of suffering a knee injury prior to the game, Tite told the press: "Thank you very much for this question because I can’t repeat things out there that are lies.
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"These are evil lies, from those who want to do bad things to others. Not at any time here in the national team did we pay the price for victory with the health of an athlete.
"So this liar who is out there…the haters, that’s what they call them, that’s what they call them, right? They keep spreading it around, so they give me the opportunity to talk. Stop spreading fake news and do something else."
He added: "Arsenal has a great medical department. We have a great medical department. We have a personal responsibility. We have personal ethics. It would never happen like this.”
Brazil will be without Jesus for their round of 16 clash with South Korea, but they will welcome Neymar back into the line up after their star man missed two group games with an injury.