Nervousness with the disastrous results of his soccer team is wreaking havoc on Grêmio de Porto Alegre’s fans. Fans invaded the field this Sunday and destroyed the VAR stand with blows at the end of a match in which the team lost 1-3 to Palmeiras. The VAR ―or refereeing video― was fundamental for the referee to nullify the goal that drew them two with the opponent, who then scored the third. The defeat brought them closer to the risk of relegation.
The images shown on television also show how those Grêmio fans chase some of the security guards parked on the side of the lawn and attack them as a group, punching each other with Palmeiras fans, from São Paulo, and throwing objects in the locker room. The barriers and bars that separate the two fans in the stands prevented the violence from increasing. They only left the lawn with the arrival of the Military Police. The incidents lasted about 10 minutes.
The result of the match places the team from Porto Alegre in the penultimate position of the Brazilian Championship, only behind Chapecoense. Meanwhile, São Paulo improved their position by winning second place in the table led by Atlético Minero, who lost to Flamengo on Sunday.
The Grêmio hosts were the first to score thanks to striker Diego Souza, but before the break, midfielder Rapahel Veiga had already scored two goals for Palmeiras. One was a penalty confirmed by the VAR. The Paulistanos had been winning when Elias scored for Grêmio the goal that promised to draw two, but the referee annulled it for offside, which angered the fans. Shortly after, the green-whites scored the third and condemned the match in stoppages. Immediately after the match ended whistle, the field was invaded.
The authorities are investigating the incidents whose punishment could involve paying a fine of 100,000 reais (15,000 euros, 18,000 dollars) and closing the Grêmio stadium for ten games, according to Folha de S. Paulo newspaper. As he plans to play at home for half of the remaining eleven league games, this hypothetical punishment could significantly affect his chances of remaining in Serie A in the Brazilian league. Among the material being analyzed are some images conveyed by Palmeiras fans that apparently show a member of the opposing crowd making racist gestures that imitate a monkey.
The frustration of Grémio fans was certainly contributed by the fact that they were coming from a good phase, as they started the game ahead of the visitors and because they managed to win in the previous game. Last year, Paraguayan goalkeeper Gatito Fernández, who was then defending Botafogo’s goal from Rio, was sanctioned with three games for kicking against the VAR’s stand. He also had to pay a fine of 56 thousand reais.
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