The nervousness over the disastrous results of his soccer team is causing havoc among the fans of the Gremio de Porto Alegre. A part of the Brazilian team’s fans invaded the field this Sunday and destroyed the VAR booth with blows at the end of a game that they lost 1-3 against Palmeiras. The video refereeing had been key for the referee to annul the goal that tied them at two with the opponent, who shortly after scored the third; so much so that it meant defeat and brings them even closer to relegation.
The images broadcast on television also show how the Guild’s ultras hunt down some of the security guards stationed next to the grass and assault them as a group, punching themselves with followers of Palmeiras, from São Paulo, and throwing objects into the tunnel of the changing rooms. The barriers that separate the two fans in the stands prevented the violence from escalating. The vandals, who left the area of the stands where the ultras are concentrated, only withdrew from the lawn before the arrival of the Military Police. The incidents lasted about 10 minutes.
The result of the match places the Porto Alegre team in penultimate place in the Brazilian League, only behind Chapecoense. Meanwhile, those from São Paulo improved their position to take second place in a table led by Atlético Minero, which lost to Flamengo on Sunday.
The Gremio 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 of them was a penalty confirmed by the VAR. The paulistanos were winning when Elias scored for the Gremio the goal that promised to tie at two, but the referee annulled it for offside, which unnerved their fans. Shortly after, the Verdiblancos scored the third and sentenced the game in injury time. Immediately after the end of the match was whistled, the field was invaded.
The authorities are investigating the incidents whose punishment could entail the payment of a fine of 100,000 reais (15,000 euros, 18,000 dollars) and the closure of the Gremio stadium for ten games, according to the newspaper Leaf of St. Paul. As he plans to play at home for half of the remaining eleven games of the championship, this hypothetical punishment could significantly affect his chances of remaining in the series A of the Brazilian championship. Among the material that is being analyzed there are some images disseminated by Palmeiras supporters that, apparently, show a member of the opposing fan making racist gestures that imitate a monkey.
The frustration of the Gremio fans was surely contributed by the fact that they were coming off a good run because they started the match ahead of the visiting team and because they managed to win the previous match. Last year, Paraguayan goalkeeper Gatito Fernández, who was then defending the Botafogo carioca goal, was sanctioned with three games for shooting against the VAR booth. He also had to pay a fine of 56,000 reais.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.