Vandalised VAR gear, fights in the stands and players hiding in the tunnel – Gremio’s horror-season has hit a new low after fans responded to defeat against Palmeiras by invading the pitch.
Tensions are high with the club in crisis, and barrelling towards a shock relegation from the Brazilian Serie A. The last twist they needed was some VAR drama.
Elias’s equaliser was chalked-off for a questionable offside, denying Gremio the chance to level before Breno Lopes sealed second-place Palmeiras’ 3-1 victory in injury-time.
Gremio fans let their frustrations loose after defeat to Palmeiras by attacking VAR equipment
One fan even took off with the post-match interview backdrop after a controversial decision
A crew of home fans waited for the final whistle before charging to the dugout and attacking VAR equipment, tipping over the screen’s protective hut and breaking microphones. One protestor was even seen making off with the advertising board that provides the backdrop of TV interviews.
The visitors’ Raphael Veiga was forced to cut-off his post-match interview and scurry down the tunnel to join his colleagues, who watched on in shock.
All the while, rival fans clashed in the stands, with fights breaking out between the Gremio and Palmeiras supporters – before the arrival of riot police finally calmed the scene.
Riot police eventually arrived to disperse the chaos after fights had broken out in the stands
Fans were expecting Luiz Felipe Scolari to lead them into a title challenge, but he’s resigned
Now, another setback awaits: ‘The punishments for pitch invasions can be fines up to 100 million reals [£12.9m] and playing behind closed doors for up to 10 games,’ chief prosecutor Ronaldo Botelho Piacente told ge.
‘Stadium closures only happen in serious cases, and in this case it is obvious how serious it is.
‘I want Gremio punished, but the judgement will be down to the court.’
Gremio finished last season in sixth and entered the season optimistic, with former Brazil and Chelsea boss Felipe Scolari in charge of a squad including Juventus loanee Douglas Costa and former Bayern Munich defender Rafinha.
However, Scolari resigned in early October and was replaced by Vagner Mancini, who faces a mammoth task to pull Gremio clear of the drop.
Gremio are in the relegation zone and in severe danger of going down after a nightmare term