Brasilia: A Brazilian sports tribunal has kicked Gremio out of the Brazil Cup after some of their fans racially abused a rival player, a spokesman for the tribunal said on Wednesday.
Gremio lost 2-0 to Santos in the first leg of the last-16 tie in the knockout competition last week.
The match was marred when Gremio fans shouted “Monkey” and other racist taunts at Santos goalkeeper Aranha.
The two teams were supposed to play the return leg in Santos on Wednesday but the match was postponed so the disciplinary commission of the Superior Court of Sporting Justice (STJD) could rule on the case.
The penalty the five-member commission meted out was the toughest ever against a Brazilian side whose fans were accused of racism.
The unanimous ruling also hit the Porto Alegre club with a fine of 50,000 Reais ($22,354), STJD spokesman Lima de Amorim told Reuters.
Gremio are expected to appeal the decision to the full nine-member STJD and the appeal will be heard within two weeks, Amorim added.
At least one Gremio fan lost her job after being filmed shouting abuse and the club banned others from the Arena Gremio, the brand new stadium where the match took place.
The club, which has not yet commented on the ban, launched an anti-racism campaign last week entitled “Enough.”