SAO PAULO – A Brazilian soccer club has been fined $21,000 because its fans racially abused an opposing player.
Mogi Mirim fans allegedly called Santos midfielder Arouca a "monkey" while he was being interviewed after a March 6 match at the Sao Paulo state championship.
Mogi Mirim, whose president is former Brazil star Rivaldo, said it will appeal the decision by the sports tribunal. The team's stadium will remain closed pending the appeal.
The ruling late Monday came the same day the governing body of South American soccer fined Peruvian club Real Garcilaso $12,000 after its fans racially abused Cruzeiro midfielder Tinga in a Copa Libertadores match this year.
The Brazilian government has condemned such abuse. President Dilma Rousseff says she is working with FIFA and the United Nations to use the upcoming World Cup to promote the cause.