Brazil’s highest sports tribunal banned the Grêmio Porto Alegre from playing the second leg of the Brazil Cup tie when a group of Gremio fans began racially abusing the opposition’s black goalkeeper Aranha when Grêmio were losing to Santos 2-0 at home.
Live television coverage showed them shouting “monkey” at the player.
The five-member disciplinary commission of the Superior Court of Sporting Justice also unanimously decided to issue the club with a fine of 50,000 reais ($22,300; £13,500).
“This is a landmark ruling,” said the commission head, Fabricio Dazzi.
“I don’t think racial abuse incidents like that will happen again. The fans will think twice, knowing that their club can be punished for their acts.”
The court also banned the match referee for 90 days and fined him 1,600 reais (£430) for not taking the correct action and for not properly reporting the incident in his match report. His assistants were banned for 60 days and fined 1,000 reais (£270).
The Santos goalkeeper reacted angrily at the abuse, which happened in the 87th minute of play. The referee said he did not hear the racial insults and thought Aranha was wasting time at the final stages of the match.
The court ruled that the fans involved in the incident at the Arena do Gremio will be banned from attending football matches in Brazil for 720 days.
Grêmio said they were being punished for the actions of a small group of racist fans, and would appeal against the decision, they are expected to appeal to the full nine-member STJD at a hearing that would be held within two weeks.
“I believe the decision was too harsh. Grêmio has done everything it could to identify the guilty fans,” said Grêmio president Fabio Koff.
Founded by German descendants, Ronaldinho a past hero
He denied that the club, founded by the descendents of Germans in the southern city of Porto Alegre, was institutionally racist.
The club launched an anti-racism campaign last week entitled “Enough”.
Former Barcelona star Ronaldinho and 1970 left-back World Champion Everaldo are among Gremio’s past black heroes. But a hardcore group of Gremio supporters has been involved in recent racist incidents.
Earlier this year the club was fined after its supporters racially abused black defender Paulao from Grêmio’s bitter local rivals Internacional.
Grêmio is one of Brazil’s most successful clubs. It has won the Intercontinental Cup once, South America’s Libertadores Cup twice, the Brazilian league twice and the Brazil Cup four times.