Brazilian club relegated after fans’ racist taunts

Club Esportivo lost nine points after a tribunal ruling.

SAO PAULO (AP) — A sports tribunal has stripped points from a Brazilian club because its fans racially abused a referee during a match, causing its relegation in a regional championship in southern Brazil.

Club Esportivo lost nine points in the tribunal’s ruling late Thursday, dropping the club to the second division of the Rio Grande do Sul state championship. Esportivo will also have to play six matches away from its stadium and pay a $14,000 fine.

The decision came after some of its supporters allegedly called the referee a ”monkey” and told him to ”return to the jungle” in a March 5 match. The fans also vandalized the referee’s car and left bananas on top of it.

Esportivo lawyers said the club will appeal.