" A month later, Santos midfielder Arouca was the victim of racial abuse during his team's Sao Paulo state league match against Mogi Mirim."
Rio de Janeiro, Sep 4 - Brazilian football club Gremio have been excluded from the Copa do Brasil after their fans racially abused a rival player.

Gremio are expected to appeal the ruling, which was handed down by Brazil's Superior Court of Sporting Justice Wednesday, reports Xinhua.

The court's disciplinary commission also fined Gremio $22,000.

It is the first time a Brazilian club has been excluded from an official competition for a racism offence. The decision came six days after Santos goalkeeper Aranha was the target of racist taunts during their quarterfinal first leg against Gremio in Porto Alegre.

Gremio, who lost the match 0-2, later banned five fans amid an investigation by police and public prosecutors.

The case is the latest in a growing list of racism episodes involving South American football fans.

In February, former Brazil international midfielder Tinga was the target of monkey chants during a Copa Libertadores match between Cruzeiro and Real Garcilaso in Peru.

A month later, Santos midfielder Arouca was the victim of racial abuse during his team's Sao Paulo state league match against Mogi Mirim.

Racist chants were also directed at referee Marcio Chagas da Silva during the Rio de Janeiro state championship match between Esportivo and Veranopolis in March.


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