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Brazilian club ordered to play 5 matches away from home after fans racially abused referee

A sports tribunal has ordered a club in southern Brazil to play five matches away from its stadium because its fans racially abused a referee during a match.

The tribunal also fined Esportivo about $13,000 after some of its supporters allegedly called the referee a "monkey" and told him to "return to the jungle" in a match in the Rio Grande do Sul state championship on March 5. The fans also vandalized the referee's car and left bananas on top of it.

Esportivo was close to being banned from this year's regional tournament. But the tribunal decided late Thursday only to keep the team from playing at its stadium in the city of Bento Goncalves in its next five home matches.

The club can appeal.