Brazilian player suspended after rant against his own fans
SAO PAULO (AP) — A first-division Brazilian club has suspended a player who confronted his own team’s fans in the middle of a match because they were constantly jeering him.
Internacional said left back Fabricio has been suspended until next week because of his rant against the fans in his team’s 1-0 win over Ypiranga in the Rio Grande do Sul state championship on Wednesday.
The club said a decision on whether he will continue at the club will be made on Monday.
Fabricio stopped playing midway through the second half and started making several obscene gestures to fans near the sideline in the southern city of Porto Alegre. After being immediately sent off by the referee, the 28-year-old defender ripped off his jersey and threw it to the ground as several teammates unsuccessfully tried to calm him down.
“Internacional’s jersey is sacred, he lacked respect for the club,” team president Vitorio Piffero said. “We are not going to rush into any decision right now. We’ll see what we will do next week.”
Fabricio had the ball at his feet then suddenly gave it away to a teammate and walked toward the sideline to confront the fans, who had been booing him nearly every time he touched the ball. Out of control, Fabricio made obscene hand gestures to the crowd several times. The crowd of more than 13,000 fans at the Beira-Rio Stadium loudly cheered when the referee sent him off.
“We are all sad about what happened,” Internacional coach Diego Aguirre said. “It was very sad and ugly, something like that shouldn’t happen.”
Veteran Brazil defender Juan was the first to come over to try to keep Fabricio from taking his jersey off after he was sent off, but to no avail.
“He is very emotional, it was in the heat of the match,” Juan said. “I’m sure he will apologize for what happened. He made a mistake.”
As Fabricio left the field, he could be seen telling fans that he will never play for the team again.
“I’m leaving. I’m leaving,” he said, as fans yelled and cursed at him.
Fabricio had to be escorted by members of Internacional’s delegation near the tunnel that led into the changing rooms. He did not talk to the media after the match.
The player has had a history of problems because of his temper and had already made headlines for arguing with coaches, teammates and referees during matches and practice sessions.
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