Football fans might despise VAR, but supporters of Brazilian club Grêmio took that hatred too far on Sunday, invading the pitch and destroying equipment after having a goal ruled out for offside in their 3-1 defeat against Palmeiras.
- Grêmio currently sit in 19th place out of 20 teams in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A competition
- The home side had an equalising goal ruled out with the score at 2-1
- Previous crowd trouble in Brazilian stadiums has resulted in a 10-game ban on supporters
Grêmio, from the southern city of Porto Alegre, are likely to face sanctions, including a possible ban on future home matches, as a result of the disorder.
The home fans were angry after VAR cancelled out what would have been a late equaliser in Sunday’s top-flight Série A match.
The goal was cancelled after a VAR check, and second-placed Palmeiras went on to score a third in stoppage time to clinch all three points and leave Grêmio second bottom of Série A.
Some Grêmio fans invaded the pitch while others fought on the terraces.
The players, who were leaving the field, sought refuge in the dressing rooms.
Ronaldo Botelho Piacente, procurator-general of Brazil’s Supreme Court of Sporting Justice, said an inquiry could lead to Grêmio being fined up to 100,000 reais ($23,420) and forced to play as many as 10 games behind closed doors or at an alternative venue away from Porto Alegre.
“This will be investigated,” Piacente told Brazilian media company O Globo.
“The intention is that Grêmio will lose their home rights.”
Grêmio said in a statement on Monday it did “not agree with the acts committed by a small portion of the fans in attendance to yesterday’s match.”
It added it was cooperating with police and considering banning the guilty supporters from its home matches.
The crowd trouble at the 60,000-capacity Arena do Grêmio occurred even though stadiums in Brazil are still only allowing a limited number of fans due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.