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Gremio face sanctions after fans invade pitch, smash VAR screen

SAO PAULO: Brazilian club Gremio faced sanctions on Monday, including a possible ban on future home matches, after angry fans invaded the pitch and smashed up the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) screen following their 3-1 loss to Palmeiras.

The home fans were angry after VAR annulled an equaliser in the dying minutes of Sunday's game with the score at 2-1.

Palmeiras then scored a third in stoppage time to clinch all three points and leave Gremio second bottom of Serie A.

Some Gremio 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 Gremio being fined up to 100,000 reais (US$17,600) 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 O Globo. "The intention is that Gremio will lose their home rights."

The crowd trouble at the modern Gremio arena occurred even though stadiums in Brazil are still only allowing a limited number of fans due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

Source: Reuters

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