A sports tribunal has ordered a club in southern Brazil to play five matches away from its stadium after fans racially abused a referee during a match.
The tribunal also fined Esportivo $13,000 after a group of supporters called the referee a “monkey” and told him to “return to the jungle” in a match in the Rio Grande do Sul state championship on March 5.
The fans also vandalized the referee’s car and placed bananas on top of it.
In many ways, Esportivo got off lightly, there was a possibility that they could get kicked out of this year’s regional tournament but the tribunal decided to enforce the stadium ban instead.
As the trial took place, referee Marcio Chagas da Silva was in Brasilia meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who invited him and two Brazilian players also targeted by racist taunts recently.
One of them was Cruzeiro midfielder Tinga, who last month was the victim of “monkey” chants during a Copa Libertadores match in Peru.
The other player was Santos midfielder Arouca, who also was taunted with “monkey” chants while being interviewed by reporters after a match in the Sao Paulo state championship last week. Arouca was unable to meet with the president because he said he had previous commitments with his club.
Mogi Mirim, whose fans were allegedly responsible for the taunts against Arouca, is also expected to be punished by a sports tribunal.
Players and fans carried banners with anti-racism messages in several matches last weekend and more are planned in upcoming matches. In its next game, Santos will wear a uniform with the words “black with pride” on it.
Rousseff stated on Twitter recently that she hopes to make the World Cup in Brazil the “World Cup for Peace” and the “World Cup Against Racism.”